Sleepwalker

Lily must defeat the demons that lurk in her nightmares if she is to save herself and the woman she loves.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Anna Cooley

Filmmaker’s statement

Sleepwalker adapts the traditional role of the fairy tale to a modern context by giving voice to an alternative narrative of love. It explores themes such as mental illness, identity, diversity, gender and sexuality, challenging the dominant narratives in our historic and contemporary storytelling.

This queer Sleeping Beauty story was made in the style of the German Expressionists of the 1920s. As a director I wanted to limit myself in terms of tools and techniques employed. I designed shots that would have been possible in the 1920s, imagining the camera to be large and difficult to move.

I collaborated with my choreographer and actors to emphasize movement and expression as narrative tools. Set pieces and miniatures were designed to be asymmetrical and hauntingly whimsical, evoking movement within static frames. I think this approach expanded the creativity of Sleepwalker and recreated a feel for films of that period.

About Anna Cooley

Anna Cooley

Sleepwalker is Anna Cooley’s first narrative short film.

In 2014 she travelled to Romania to shoot her first feature documentary, A Sauropod Abroad, which won best feature documentary at the Brasov International Film Festival and best female filmmaker at the Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival.

She started her own production company, Erratic Pictures, in 2015 which produces short and feature-length documentaries on topics ranging from environmental sustainability to domestic violence prevention.

She has worked in the Calgary film industry since 2010 in the props, set decoration and art departments, developing skills that have translated to her own independent projects.

She is currently working on short films, grant applications and proposals while writing short and feature-length screenplays.

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