Congratulations to Celia Bullwinkel, whose marvelous animated film “Sidewalk” is attracting attention everywhere! We caught up with her in Mexico for a quick interview.
SVA: What sparked the idea for this film?
Celia Bullwinkel: The film originally was how a woman deals with catcallers on the street. From that starting point, the film evolved into a deeper exploration of how one woman perceives herself differently based on the various stages of her life and her outside influence. How much of our happiness derives from outside validation, which is often times negative, and how does she eventually learn to find happiness within?
S: Did you share your work with any of your students?
C: I often use scenes from personal projects to show students how to use software like Toon Boom, Flash, and After Effects.
S: How is your journey like or unlike the journey of your female students today?
C: I think today’s students exude more confidence than I did. Still, the visual standards of how the young must be are increasingly difficult, and sometimes flat-out unattainable.
S: Were the characters based on any people you know?
C: No, although I’ve been told one of the film’s catcallers looks like my fiancé! All of the characters are purely fictional.
S: What did you love most about working on this (or its success now)?
C: I enjoyed investing the time it took to tell this particular story. The film was self-funded, so Sidewalk was a true labor of love. Probably the most rewarding part of Sidewalk’s success are the viewers who have reached out to tell me how much the love the film. Some have told me the film made them cry, which is an incredible honor. I never thought my stories and drawings could move someone to tears.
S: What are your hopes for the film?
C: I hope Sidewalk reaches people across the globe. The film has already been popular in Turkey, Hungary, and Italy, and China. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
S: What do you want people to take away from it?
C: Aging may be inevitable, but we can learn to love and celebrate it at every stage.
Check out Celia’s previous blog with us here.