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Balloon Animal

Em Johnson
United States, 2022, 88 min.

In English.
Includes adult language.

AIFF Award Winner:
Special Jury Award for Outstanding Cinematography

A young performer is stuck under the harsh demands of her father and their community's expectations. During a night out to let loose and have some fun with her friends, she meets a young man with whom she quickly forms a bond, forcing her to question everything she has known.

Director's Statement

Balloon Animal is a story grounded in fantasy and realism set against the backdrop of a lackluster circus and a vibrant small town. By presenting the story through the perspective of a woman who has fallen out of love with the circus, we give our audience context and reason as to why the fantasy there no longer exists. Balloon Animal plays with themes of identity, independence, familial expectations, and sacrifice. Throughout Poppy's journey of self-discovery, we are introduced to the burdens that lead her to sacrifice relationships and take back her own future and freedoms. For the last five years, I've been driven by my love of the human condition, touching on how tragic, yet beautiful, it can be in my work. Each character is flawed and responds to situations in a unique and profound way. My goal is to analyze everything about them to build an infinite amount of depth, so as to showcase them on the screen in an authentic, yet cinematic way.

Category: Drama.

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