Role | direction, writing & Design
Finding herself in a state of limbo, an Indian girl revisits her immigration journey and voyages through a tempestuous emotional landscape of memory, identity, belonging and the illusion of the American Dream.
The film intends to steer the conversation away from divisive discourses within the immigrant community and shift focus towards more inclusive narratives and discover overlapping experiences.
To communicate this stance, we chose to tell a story that was intimate and personal but still left enough room for interpretation for those unfamiliar with immigrant narratives. Passage unfolds very much like a personal essay where a series of events are retold - warped and colored by memories and emotions inviting viewers to project their own journeys upon the story.
The art of constructing powerful personal narratives through a variety of printmaking techniques while having control over the production and distribution of publication material drew us towards the practice of zine-making and editorial illustrations for some of our original inspiration.
Appropriate representation of race, ethnicity and female characters is always a particularly difficult design challenge. Although we wanted to keep the characters simple and relatable enough, we also wanted to be very clear that the main character was a young Indian woman without using any kind of stereotypical cultural appropriation to place the character in a time and place. To make sure the narrative feels authentic at every level, the secondary characters in the story are all based on real people, filtered though the design lens of this story world. Immigrant stories are as numerous and varied as the people themselves, all with a common thread of fear, loss and hope running through them.
Passage is driven strongly by mood and color. Like each stanza of a poem, every vignette in the film has its own color scheme that blends seamlessly into the next.
Although Passage has been created using primarily digital 2D frame by frame animation, there are sections incorporating motion graphics and 3D animation. We were mindful to make sure all three styles blended together to create a fluid visual essay where each segment flowed into the next one.
In the creation of this project we sought out collaborators and artists that believe in the ethos of the film and are conscious of the lack of representation of women and POC in the entertainment and media Industry. Our entire team is remote based and spread across Los Angeles, San Francisco, Copenhagen, New Delhi and Norwich, bringing a wealth of professional and cultural insight to this film.