Firstly, I want to thank Arts Film Awards for honoring Fowl Crossing as Best Animated film. This means so much to me, as does the opportunity to be interviewed.
Entering the journey into animation comes as a surprise. Throughout my life, I’ve just let my imagination express itself in various ways. I have an artistic soul that that won’t let up.
I have been a professional stage and film actress, even touring in Greece, Euripides The Trojan Women. Having authored two adult books - one a novel that take place in Greece, (Floating on Lily Pads), and the other a poetry and short story collection. But my passion for children has always been foremost in my life. This is reflected in the children’s books I’ve written, and also in my first animation short, Tapping Tango – made in 2018.
I never expected to become a director of animation, writing the scripts and doing the voicing and playing the piano music in this film. I’m a song writer with 3 CDs out, so I was able to use a verse of my song, Be You to send the message of acceptance.
Fowl Crossing holds up a mirror to all kinds of prejudice steeped in hatred. Given the recent events of the world, the film’s topic is very timely. Perhaps that’s why it’s garnered over forty awards. Fowl Crossing is about birds from many different countries trying to get past the border a fictitious country. But the check point is manned by two nasty vulture guards who hurdle invectives full of discrimination and racism. A political parody of sorts, the 5-minute film on such a serious subject still manages to be funny and entertaining.
However, making this film was another story completely. Plagued with all kinds of setbacks, it took 3 years for it to come together. Not until, I found the outstanding Mexican animator, Eduardo Rivas did the film take its last final smooth flight. He polished it off in six weeks! Eduardo’s creativity and ability to follow directives made this film come together. I was so lucky to find the right person after almost three years of searching. Eduardo and I did it all via Zoom from Montreal to Mexico during Covid, so this made the entire process all the more challenging.
Every artist needs great support – a person or people that believe in you. Travelling along the animation journey with me was Hove Creek Productions’ manager, Sylvain Richard. He believed in me so much, and the film’s theme, he actually put his prodigious blogging site on hold for long periods of time to do many much-needed tasks. My great support all along was the blogger Sylvain Richard who never let me give up during those critical moments of difficulty.
Also, the voices I did for the characters needed a superb engineering audio studio. The highly renown, Planet Studios came on board for the mixing and mastering. In charge of this was Jacob Lacroix and Daniel Cinelli. They kept reassuring me everything was going to be okay, because after three years of so many ups and downs, I had become a nervous wreck.
Prejudice is a universal evil – just look at Donald Trump’s administrative policies. So, ifFowl Crossing might have been challenging, It was worth it if this film makes you laugh, and reflect on the serious message.
For my next film, titled Foot Drop Drag, I’m working on a unique story about an orthotic boot designed to be worn by those who have Drop Foot. The boot travels over various landscapes looking for someone who needs him. Will he find that person?
I’m reaching out to anyone wanting to work on this touching film. I love bringing talented people to collaborate with me.
My films carry a message of love and inclusion. I really hope Fowl Crossing resonates with all who see it.
Thank you again for this amazing award. I’m really honoured!