Revisiting The Work Of Tamara Hansen
Back in 2018 we featured the lovely Tamara Hansen and the music video she directed for artist Brielle Von Hugel (READ HERE). Now in 2020 she is back with an original short film that she wrote and directed; Windows To Nowhere. After a bit of a run around with festival dates due to the Coronavirus pandemic the film will now premiere at Orlando Film Festival in October so I spoke with Tamara about the film’s journey to this point.
Windows To Nowhere is the story of a woman haunted by her past who struggles to live a normal life after a bad accident results in the death of her daughter. An unnerving look into the psyche of someone dealing with grief I asked Tamara where the idea for the film came from. “I guess it’s a mix of real experiences and fictional ideas.” Tamara said, “It started as a character study about a mentally ill woman and turned into a study about grief, which tries to explain the behaviour of the lead character.”
After a direct offer from Tamara actress Brette Taylor (Nashville, Gotham) came on board with the project as the lead, Elise, so I asked what attracted her to the role. “I read the script twice… In my first read through I was immediately attracted to the tone and essence of the film. I could really feel it!” Brette explained, “The second read through was even more exciting because I knew that I could really sink my teeth into the pain & depth of the story. It was true art that I was witnessing. And that’s what I crave as an artist…It was a unique opportunity!”
The film was not without it’s struggles though as Tamara completely self funded the project. “Money was probably the biggest struggle. It was self funded and I put every cent I had into it.” Tamara explained, “The day after we finished shooting I had $500 in my bank account.” But even though the financial state of the project created moments of stress the support network surrounding the film helped to fill in the gaps. “I had friends pitch in, who paid for an airbnb, food, and many other things. They were life savers,” Tamara stated. “Everyone was. Which is the highlight of the production: all those amazing people came and worked their asses off without any pay because they believed in the project. That will always be the biggest highlight for me.”
Brette Taylor echoed similar feelings towards the process of the production. “Film production is never glitch-free, but I believe the process flowed so beautifully, as the crew was all in…all heart!” she said, “To date, it was the best filming experience I’ve had! And I loved the synchronicity between myself & Tamara!”
Even though the film was completed there were still more hurdles to come with it’s premiere. The global pandemic had many festivals cancelling or pushing their lineups to an online format. “It was scheduled to premiere in July at the New York Film Festival but we decided to pull it from the festival to give it a chance to have a screening where people can attend in person.” Tamara explained. “Obviously I still don’t know if that’s gonna be the case, we will see how things will develop.”
With film premieres such a big deal particularly for Independent films it’s no surprise that Tamara decided to try and get an in-the-room screening to kick off the films journey. Besides the networking benefits is also the audience reaction, which can be hard to gauge from an online premiere. I asked Brette and Tamara what they hope those reactions might be to this story. “I hope they react organically to whatever way they experience it on a personal level.” Brette said, “That could be private or not. The ideal would be for the ones who are suffering from depression, loss, addiction, mental disorders can somehow find help & relief. To not suffer in silence anymore. So much of “Elise’s” pain was unspoken.”
“I wanted the audience to experience the protagonist’s emotional state, in order to be able to feel for her loss.” Tamara said, “I’m glad to hear it’s uncomfortable, because that means you felt something – which is what I’m hoping for.” As such a visceral film it deserves it’s place in a room full of people experiencing it for the first time. The Orlando Film Festival will run from the 15th – 22nd of October and the full schedule will be available to view September 14th so stay tuned for more information regarding when and how you can see Windows To Nowhere.