As Beautiful Inside
Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
As a family elder faces his final days, increasingly withdrawn due to primary progressive aphasia, his filmmaker grandson focuses on the handcrafted furniture his grandfather made for family and his church community, who reflect here on this artful legacy of love.
About the Filmmaker
Will Mayo grew up on a farm in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, and now works as a film director, producer, and post producer, in Brooklyn, New York. Will’s short film “First Night Out” was a feature of last year’s UnLonely Film Festival.
- Instagram: @willmayofilm
- Twitter: @WILL_MAYO_FILM
Did you recognize a theme of loneliness as your project developed?
“My grandfather’s isolation (as an effect of his dementia) emerged as a theme as we cut the film together. As for my family’s struggle to reckon with his decline, the furniture he made for us revealed themselves to be a comforting spiritual salve.”
Did any of your viewers give you feedback that reflected this aspect of your film?
“I’ve received many emails from individuals who have parents or family members who are or were suffering from dementia, saying the film really spoke to them. Others have commented on an uncanny resemblance my grandfather has to their own family member as a woodworker and all-around selfless individual.”
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- Is there someone in your family you’d like to showcase in a documentary or some other kind of recording? What aspect would you want to highlight? In the ideal scenario, what are you hoping they would say?
- The grandfather is asked a couple of times whether he is proud of his furniture. What are you proud of? Is there anything that you will hopefully leave behind that will give you great pride?
- The mother and aunt of the filmmaker struggle to accept and deal with their father fading away, and becoming less communicative. Have you had a relative or friend who went through a similar transition and if so how did you find ways to stay connected to that person?
- Can an object come to signify or represent a person? Take a portrait of someone by photographing a dear object that belongs to them and/or with which they spent a lot of time. Share the ‘portrait’ with others to see if your photograph brings the person to mind for others as well.
- Tell the story of a handmade object and its designer/maker (if possible). One of the daughters in the film lamented about the fact that the furniture would be passed on and in a few generations, nobody would know the story and history of the piece. Here is your chance to ensure that won’t happen with a handmade object of your own: 1) Pick a special piece of furniture, art, or found object with a story; 2) write down what you know about how it was created or came to be in your possession; OR if you don’t know, create a fictional account of the item for fun; and 3) place your written/printed account somewhere inside or taped under or on the back of the piece so that the story will travel with the piece in the future. If you’ve written a fictional account, you can invite the next owner/reader to add on to your invented story or to offer another account.
- Create your own family heirloom. Are you a painter? A photographer? A knitter or quilter? Are other family members? Consider getting a few members of your family together –think cousins or aunts and uncles–to create a piece that includes aspects of your family’s heritage or story with the goal of passing it on to later generations.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
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