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Candid portrayal of anorexia leads to film festival nods for UCA student

A candid portrayal of mental health and anorexia, created by one of our BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts students, has been shortlisted for film festivals at home and abroad.

CGI animation, When, by UCA Rochester student Deanna Crisbacher, will show at the Jersey Shore Film Festival, the Miami Independent Film Festival, and London’s SE10 Film Festival. Last year Deanna’s film Dysmorphia also impressed on the film circuit, and will be shown again this year alongside When at a number of festivals.

Deanna, who is 23, says: “When is an experimental CGI animation about my experience with mental illness and the impact it's had on my view of the world around me. I hope showing this film will help develop a better understanding of mental illnesses such as anorexia while simultaneously showing sufferers that they are not alone.

“To try and convey what it’s been like for me to struggle with mental illness, I tried to represent different aspects of my experience in abstract ways. By doing this I hope to guide the viewer to feel the general raw emotion, while also having a unique, personal experience. I think by leaving it relatively ambiguous, I allow there to be open conversation about what different people thought and felt during different parts of the film.”

Deanna, who is originally from New Jersey but moved to the UK when she was 16, says that having her work shown at the Jersey Shore Film Festival makes it even more special as it’s where she grew up.

“Honestly I wasn’t sure if the film would be recognised or liked, but I think somewhat experimental projects like this always carry a risk of not being understood,” she adds. “However, I think people are reacting and recognising the film because they can either relate to things such as insecurities or the terrible things some people tell themselves. Also, I think it makes viewers more curious about other people’s experiences with the world and hopefully more empathetic towards other people’s struggles.”

Following her graduation this month, Deanna hopes to continue working in film, either in VFX or as a texture or lighting artist.

Below: Deanna's work. 

Deanna Crisbacher work