Louise Bagnall got the desire to make her short film, “Late Afternoon,” based on two things. One was that she wanted to make a film that explored a woman’s inner life and the other was her grandmothers, who she only knew as a child. “I always felt like I had missed out on getting to know them in terms of what happened in their childhood and as they grew up. I only ever saw them as my grannies.”
The film centers on an old woman named Emily who is being tended to by a caretaker. Emily finds herself drifting in and out of her memories as a child, spending time with friends, falling in love and starting a family. They all blend together as she realizes that her dementia is causing these recollections to fade away from her mind.
While neither of her grandmothers had dementia, discovering more about them after they passed provided some of the films more personal touches. “There were a lot of stories told about who they were and what they were like when they were younger,” she says. “I actually found out more about them when they were gone than when they were still around.”
Expressing this story through animation was a natural fit for Bagnall. She enjoys drawing and finds that animation is just the way she prefers to express her ideas. But this story presented a unique opportunity in how she would use the medium. “I wanted to be able to make these transitions that I don’t know how I would have done it without animation, to be honest.” She adds, “There’s a fluid momentum and even a sort of warping happening in the memories that things aren’t quite clear as they are in the present day.”
Last month, “Late Afternoon” was named as one of the ten finalists for the Best Animated Short Film race at the upcoming Oscars. Living in Ireland, Bagnall found out that her film made the shortlist at around 11:30 at night. “I found out and thought, ‘Oh, that’s great,’ and then went to bed. Then the next morning it went crazy.” She’s very proud of the achievement, particularly for the people that she worked with in creating the film. “Everyone on the team was so delighted and it’s lovely to know that the film has been noticed and now more people will be able to find the film.”
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