About the film
"We empower ourselves as storytellers by creating representation of the way we see ourselves on screen. I am partnering with both new collaborators, and old friends I have had since high school in my telling of this tale. It is a diary entry, a song, and a love poem to being a Millenial."
‘Silly Little Wounds’ is a heartfelt, intimate, and authentic exploration of the way relationships change as we enter middle age, a slow burning slice-of-life piece. The script features intricate and well-developed characters, naturalistic dialogue, and subtly profound themes of life and the different paths we take.
This ensemble film follows six characters struggling with unresolved trauma, the pressures of adulthood, and their identities. The film opens with a short DV-Cam segment in which we meet all the characters as teenagers backstage during one of their high school theater productions. We meet their director and mentor, Mr. Lewis, then cut immediately to his funeral notice and see them arrive to pay their respects as adults. Each character is an inspection of a facet of being human, especially in how they interact with others and the world around them.
Sienna, now married with kids, struggles with losing her identity in motherhood and family life. April, now a teacher in their small town, lives in fear of her queer identity jeopardizing her career. Kate, a staunch perfectionist, manifests her unhappiness as dissatisfaction with her body, practicing disordered eating and exercise addiction. Nathan, who grew up with divorced parents and an abusive father, is in the middle of his own divorce. This forces him to confront his similarities to his father. Tori, a working actress, has felt the passion and meaning drain out of her art, leaving her lonely and lost. Brandon, who moved to the West Coast, is directionless, a little too crude for his own good, and avoids consequences at all costs, often hurting the people around him.
The film takes place over a single, finite weekend, with the funeral and a memorial service providing structure and circumstance for the characters. This direct interaction with death, and with their hometown and the versions of themselves they left behind casts into sharp relief and reminds them that life is precious. They inspect who they have become, how they’ve changed, and how they haven’t through their unanticipated reunion.
Kate and Sienna, who were in a love triangle with Brandon as teenagers, see through each other the ways that they could have, and still can, love themselves more. April learns through the death of her mentor to love bravely and openly. Tori, through reconnecting with Nathan, her first love, learns that following your dreams isn’t always a sure and straight path.
This story, rather than embracing drama, seeks to find humor and empathy in the experiences of the characters. The film will be colorful, lyrical, and even at times whimsical - using a variety of camera techniques and leaning on rehearsals to ensure compelling and understated performances. For maximum nostalgia, music will be used liberally.
The film posits that it’s never too late to heal your ‘silly little wounds,’ and try to make your life a little better and the world a little better in the process.
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About the Director
Vanessa M. H. Powers
Vanessa M. H. Powers is a prolific and award-winning film director who has been making films professionally since 2014. Her company, the Oxford Comma Film Cooperative has tackled topics ranging from hysterical to heartbreaking, spanning almost every genre you can think of. Vanessa and her team have consistently delivered character-driven, thought-provoking, and stylishly told stories, with just enough Midwestern flair to make you say ‘ope.’ Her works have been seen in festivals across the country and around the globe.
In addition to her film work, Vanessa is theater director, artist, coffee enthusiast, and occasional human being. She can often be found trying to be in too many places at once. She is the resident director at St. Matthew Community Theatre in Columbia Heights and has done work at Lakeshore Players Theater and Cross Community Players. She’s also produced theatrical work independently as Oxford Comma Theater. In her (clearly abundant) free time, she can be found trying to be a human - spending time with her supportive family, friends, and snort-tastic bulldogs.