Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
An elderly woman living alone receives a box containing a robot. Their relationship develops richly and surprisingly mutually.
About the FIlmmaker
The film was the Casandra Ng’s final year animation project on the theme of “change” at Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia. She produced the work with fellow students who call themselves Sunny Side Up Productions.
Did you set out to explore loneliness in your film and if so, what prompted this focus?
Not exactly. This short was done for our Final Year Project and was given the theme ‘Change’, our main focus was more on how technology has changed our lifestyle.
Alternately, did you recognize a theme of loneliness as your project developed?
We were not very aware of how the loneliness theme developed. Perhaps we were more positive about it. We wanted to create awareness about not abandoning your parents and to spend more time with them. Wasn’t looking at the perspective of loneliness. But more of focusing on the time you have now with your loved ones
Did any of your viewers give you feedback that reflected this aspect of your film?
“Nowadays, we lie in bed watching Netflix, while all our time passes by. We could be spending that time making lifelong memories with friends and family, but instead, we’re isolating ourselves. The thing about life is that your next day is never guaranteed.” – quote from one of the commenters, I am sure most of us feel guilty after reading this.
What do you hope UnLonely Film Festival audiences, trying to make sense of loneliness and isolation and navigate a path forward, take from your film?
“We hope that the audiences can view life in a positive manner, that no one is truly alone. And we have to make use of our time now to live in the present and cherish those that we have and love.”
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- What was your emotional response to this film? Who –if anyone–in your life came to mind? And what were the feelings that came up when thinking about this person?
- The film raises questions about the role of technology in our close relationships. Do you have concerns about technology inhibiting and changing the nature of your personal relationships? Or are you of the mind that technology will help us better develop or sustain our relationships? Whichever side of the argument you support, can you see the other side’s point of view?
- The woman in the film looks to be very isolated both from her family and from her neighbors and community, therefore, spends most of her time alone. How much time do you spend alone? Do you wish you spent less time alone? Is there someone with whom you wish you were spending more time?
- Make a visual reminder of someone in your life with whom you wish you were in better contact or could spend more time. Take a piece of paper and pen/pencil and sketch out a scene from your favorite memory with them. Include as many details as you can, but you are not required to include the people in the scene if you don’t want to. Then take this drawing and place it somewhere in your home or office—bookshelf, bed table, mirror, kitchen counter, wallet—and treat the image as a call to action: every time you see it, you are reminded to call this person or to Skype, write a letter, etc.
- The end of the film includes a vision of a happy ending for the characters. Can you come up with a vision of a happy ending for loved ones who, like the characters in the film, met a less than an ideal end? Where would your loved ones go? Who would they be with? Create a colorful tableau of this scene using tracing paper, pencil, a thin black sharpie, and bright markers. Feel free to take advantage of the tracing paper and use your pencil to lightly trace over pictures of the elements you’d like to include—you could even try tracing very lightly over photographs as well. Try to keep it as simple as possible for a more dramatic effect. Then use the markers to color in the areas you’ve traced and use the thin black sharpie to outline all of the elements to really make the image pop. Finally, hang the tracing paper in a window to allow the sun to illuminate the image from behind.
- Design your personal caregiving robot. If you had to rely on a robot to support you in your late life, how would you design the robot to best be able to care for you—both physically and emotionally? Would it have an option for telling jokes? Could it care for the pets that are important to you? Would it read poetry to you? Or be a fantastic chef? Or have an accent? Draft your blueprint design or write down your design specifications and consider sharing with your loved ones.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
Your Support Helps!
We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.