Nameless is a surreal gothic short film in which a wood carver has her name stolen from her. On her journey to gain it back she ultimately comes face to face with a bitter lizard god of an ancient religion.
Once, the lizard lost its tail - and the snake, its sister, promised it a piece of its own...
..on one condition:
The lizard would have to always watch over the children of the snake.
Nameless becomes a surreal story about a woodcarver who has name stolen from her in the dark of the night. Shrouded in stark shadows in the black and white world of the film, she receives a mysterious envelope with the tail of a lizard in it. The tail, she realises, turns like the hand of a compass needle - it's the white rabbit she has to follow, lest she would lose herself forever. Led to a cellar under the forest floor, the nameless wood carver comes face to face with a vengeful lizard god.
Inspired by Finnish folklore revolving around snakes and lizards, Nameless tells an eerie mythological tale set in the modern day.
Nameless would have been impossible to make, were it not for the blood and sweat spilled by those who dared to tackle the challenges of its production - these are the ones first brought to the altar for the ultimate sacrifice to the gods.
DIRECTOR - Jonna Laitinen
Snakes were thought to be the messengers of the underworld, the bridge connecting the dead and the living - she is the one who conversed with the snakes. Lured by the tales they told and the images they described, she fell fast into the abyss, unable to not tell the story.
Jonna is a Finnish filmmaker based in Edinburgh. She’s a fourth year Film & TV Bachelor student at Edinburgh College of Art, and Nameless is her graduation film. Besides directing she also specialises in production design, and regardless whether she’s designing or directing a film, her aim is create unique and impactful worlds on screen. She’s an experienced set builder, and she has so far designed and overseen the build of a fantasy submarine, a damp coal mine and a cramped crawl space. In her work she is partial to otherworldly genres, such as sci-fi, fantasy and horror.
PRODUCER - Georgia Middlemiss
Once, when the people still kept snakes in their homes as the protectors of their household, people offered them in return the first grain of the season and the milk of the cattle - without stable foundations and nutrition, the household becomes unable to function. The fate of the second sacrifice, the producer, then becomes that of a protector.
Georgia is a Film and TV student at the Edinburgh College of Art and co-founder of SBS Productions, a production company specialising in producing female and non-binary focused films. She has previously produced My Head on the Mountain (dir. Anna Stoltzmann), and Nocturnal (dir. Esther Conroy).
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY - Stéphanie Ward
Just as the director became enchanted by the tales the snakes told, so did the third sacrifice: the photographer. Surrounded by the darkest of shadows and the brightest of lights, she would become the one to translate the strange tongues of the snakes to harrowing, terrifying images.
Stéphanie will be starting her last year at Edinburgh University, specialising in cinematography. Interested in both documentary and fiction, she takes inspiration from old and new films, particularly having been inspired by the film noir style for Nameless. She believes in the camera being able to work closely besides the production design as well as the director. She looks forward to see how far this mystical tale will go.
PRODUCTION DESIGNER - Molly Simmons
The third sacrifice becomes the designer, the sculptor of the underworld. Hers is the responsibility of maintaining the home of the god, drafting the architecture of the world of the dead.
Initially an artist, Molly is now an aspiring filmmaker with a concentration in production design and art direction. Before attending university, she exhibited both film and fine art across galleries in the United States, with her first completed film, Masha’allah (2015), earning three nominations in the 2015 All American High School Film Festival and screening in Times Square, NYC. In 2017, her efforts led to receiving a nomination at the 2017 Underwire Film Festival for the production design of Salt & Sauce (2017). Molly finds great enjoyment in the ability to create engaging worlds for characters to inhabit and thoroughly enjoyed the time she had creating the uniquely stylised realm that Nameless inhabits.
COSTUME DESIGNER - Meri Hallikainen
The fourth sacrifice, the seamstress, the one who clothed the gods.
Meri Hallikainen is a costume and a fashion designer from Finland with a background in dressmaking. She is studying Fashion and Clothing Design at the Lahti Institute of Design in Finland, but she is currently completing her student exchange at the University of Edinburgh. During her university studies, Meri has also worked for the Finnish Broadcasting Company as a Costume Design Assistant.
Meri’s background in fashion and dressmaking shape her costume designs, making them more contemporary and functional. She also enjoys fairy tales as well as other stories and loves to create costumes based on folktales for otherworldly characters.
MAKE-UP ARTIST - Nicola Sturrock
The fifth sacrifice is the ultimate creator - she is the one who made the god come to life, carving his face out of clay and stone, sculpting and painting each individual scale.
Nicola's passion for makeup begun when she was around 11 and she fell in love with the freeness and creativity of it. She studied makeup artistry for 3 years and graduated with a HND, since then she has been pursuing my career working mostly on films. For her, the best part about working in the makeup and film industry is that you get to meet the most amazing and talented people. It’s such a fun and rewarding job, and she loves it.
THE FINAL GOAL
The pledges are to honour the sacrifices made along the way - to replenish what was lost. Nameless is a visually ambitious short film which makes it a costly project. The film boasts visual splendour, ranging from a unique set built in a studio to act as the lair of the lizard god, to hand-crafted costumes designed specifically for the film and intricate special effects make-up. Any donations will then go forward to ensure the members of these departments are paid back in full for their efforts. Additional costs include location fees, as well as transport and catering.
At this stage in post-production, the ultimate goal is to send Nameless off to festivals. This requires further funds to cover festival submission fees, and by donating to this film you do not only ensure that you yourself get to see the film - you enable us to show it to the world. The cast and the crew consist of many talented individuals and spreading word of this film also means supporting all of their careers in the world of filmmaking - and they are all bound to create splendid entertainment for a variety of audiences.
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