Anicca: A Film By Isioma Iyamah and Panisa Khunprasert


For Michael Chung's 5-week Video Storytelling class, students pair up to produce short films intended to create provocative narratives and immerse the students in the mechanics of producing a compelling video. Anicca was created by first-years Isioma Iyamah and Panisa Khunprasert. Here is a description of the film in their own words:

"Anicca tells the tale of one’s struggle against impermanence. Humankind forever grapples with its inability to come to terms with endings; all of our creations speak to this notion—we want to prolong our lives, or at least to leave an ineffaceable stamp on the world. In this short film, we simplified this fear to a particular woman’s dread of growing older and losing her youthful bloom.

"Anicca is set in a lifeless, sterile world that reflects the protagonist’s emotional state. Blue, white, delicate pink and a more vivid blood red are the main colors in the film, which serve to highlight the starkness of the mood. Anicca takes place in a makeshift laboratory of the future. The protagonist passes her days conducting experiments on a cut flower, experiments meant to stave off its eventual, and irreversible destruction. The speculative anti-aging agents she employs include Botox injections, an anti-aging serum and finally a cryogenic chamber. To her dismay, none of her efforts bear lasting fruit. As the damaged flower thaws out from its frozen state, the protagonist’s sorrow and simmering anxiety solidify into rage, and she destroys a mirror, which, throughout the film, has reflected her perceived flaws.

"The protagonist finally comes to terms with change, the passing of time, life. The Sun’s rays reach into her cold dwelling and caress her face.

"Sound comprised an important part of Anicca. Isioma scoured her collection for music that would create a suitable soundscape. Mica Levi’s eerily beautiful compositions from Under the Skin were selected. Isioma then experimented with layering and cutting the tracks to create an emotionally immersive experience."

At the final presentation, the team won three awards: “Best Sound Editing”, “Best Cinematography” and “Best Production Design”. They enjoyed an easy and productive partnership, and plan to make more films together in the future.