^

Trailer

A woman. Her body. A destructive, controlling voice. INA and JOY are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. INA must reverse the power to survive. Are they lovers or is JOY the “killer-within”? Shot in 35mm in b/w, this 14-minute film will take you below the surface of civilization into the volatile world of the feminine psyche and the white‐hot fight for survival. A simple sweater is the object of fury.

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Press
Festivals
Awards
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Extras
A woman. Her body. A destructive, controlling voice. INA and JOY are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. INA must reverse the power to survive. Are they lovers or is JOY the “killer-within”? Shot in 35mm in b/w, this 14-minute film will take you below the surface of civilization into the volatile world of the feminine psyche and the white‐hot fight for survival. A simple sweater is the object of fury.
LIMINAL was shot in one week at Ben Kitay Studios in Hollywood, CA. There was also a day on location in the warehouse district, downtown Los Angeles, and some aerial photography (never used--see Extras) one Sunday morning from Van Nuys airport through the fogs of Glendale and over the freeway. The actors rehearsed approximately 50 hours at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City prior to shooting. All casting was the result of postings on NowCasting, LACasting, and SAGIndie websites. The contract is SAG Ultra Low Budget. Two 35mm Panavision cameras were used to shoot on Fuji color film which was then desaturated into Black and White. The film was completed in June, 2008, and has a running time of 14 minutes. Completed: June, 2008, TRT: 14 min., Shooting Format: 35mm B&W, Available Formats: DVD (region 0), DigiBeta (NTSC/PAL), BetaSP (NTSC/PAL), 1348 feet/411 meters, 1 roll, Aspect Ratio: 1:85, Origin: USA, CA Key Credits: Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Stephen Keep Mills, Editor: Tamera Martin, Director of Photography: Michael Alba, Production Design: Rachel Myers, Sound: David McJunkin, Producer: Patrick Cunningham. Cast: Tonya Cornelisse, Alejandra Gollas Tagline: Think it’s a dream? What’s in a word: Choosing a title I love the description of the word "liminal" in the dictionary: “of, pertaining to, or situated at the limen.” Look up “limen” and you find it means: “threshold”, and that the term “liminal” refers to “a psychological or physiological response.” I like the word. It’s one of those words that conveys mystery and mystery is much of what our lives are about. Mystery defines us—if we could ever decipher it. So, I picked this word because I want—not to confuse you—but to mystify you. Is this story a tale of domestic distress? Or is JOY the shadow/nemesis of INA and therefore the whole thing is not an external drama at all but an internal and psychological one? It’s both. It’s domestic and it’s abstract and we live in both worlds all the time where we mistake actions for “real” that are really leaks from our unconscious. We live in these two dimensions at once and that, to me, is the meaning of liminal—a world where reality and dream play musical chairs— neither one winning—all the time. I don’t like the concrete. I don’t like definitions or formulas. I think they can be false gods that we invoke to spare us from the uncertainty of living. I prefer the uncertainty because I think it’s closer to the truths about us. We are not subject to proof. We live in the expanding magma of our own active volcano. Our pains and joys are real but they come to us through some existential mist we can’t explain. There is no explanation for this story. It so happens one person kills another or “kills” ie. separates from a part of one’s being that needed to be cut loose. It’s not a dream. We act and we don’t know why. We watch ourselves responding to the under-gut of our own instinct. We don’t choose how we live. We live and then try to figure it out. This story is about how one person fights for her soul so that she could then go about the business of becoming. She had to wrest herself from her own negative grasp. She didn’t plan it out. Her instincts came through for her just at the needed moment. That would be the “liminal” moment. Can you explain that? Me either, but at least there is a word for it. Production History: When the concept changes. As casting began, I was looking for ROY and INA. When all was said and done, I was looking at INA and JOY. How is that? How did a tale exploring a deadly domestic dispute between two heterosexual lovers become an equally deadly but psychological war between a woman and her same-sex shadow? Well, one issue (nudity) oddly led to the other (concept change) and I’m going to lay the genesis of this transformation at the feet of my two fearless and gifted leading ladies: Tonya Cornelisse and Alejandra Gollas. LIMINAL is a tale of control, reversal of power, and the emergence of self—all because of a sweater which INA thinks made her look good and, as first written, ROY thinks made her look too good. Two actors were offered the role of ROY and turned it down through their managers. The deal-breaker for each was the issue of nudity. For the role of INA, I had just the opposite issue—two equally fabulous candidates ready to play and only one could be cast. I wasn’t looking forward to selecting just one. I knew the other would be just as fantastic. Two more ROY’s declined (different managers, same issue). I looked again at the photos—the two actresses who were so good—then I went to the Muse with the magic question: “What if?” At the extended final callbacks (I still had some excellent guys—this is LA after all and I had gotten over 1500 submissions from the sites of Now Casting, LA Casting and SAG Indie), I asked Tonya and Alejandra to stay just a little longer. I let loose my idea: what if INA was in a battle with a negative part of herself that prevents her growth? What if this force represented "the voice within" that always diminished her? What if this wasn’t a domestic contest at all, but a psychological war of the interior? They read the script together and it became clear the course we would follow. This conflict would turn inward. The set design would have to change, the cinematography would have to change, the dialogue, too—not much, but slightly, and presto! JOY sprang fresh from the rib of ROY. From a violent, lost, and insecure male, JOY blossomed into an uncompromising, relentless, Fury of a woman—a shadow not a lover—the anti-self which wants to keep INA forever on the ropes of defeat, never allowing her true being to develop, a vicious inner Villain. So, this is how the story was waiting to be told—not as first conceived, but as now discovered, still as raw, but even more intimate. When the enemy is within and you are fighting your own self-destruction, survival couldn’t be more personal. And for this I have my actresses to thank. Their talent simply transcended elimination. THEY’RE NAKED: Removing the Taboo The most obvious element of this film is that both players are naked. Completely and throughout. I had in my mind that it should be played this way. Not for erotic reasons since there is nothing erotic about the story. Not for a gimmick since gimmicks quickly lose dramatic relevance. I thought they should be naked because the story operated on three levels: the logical, the primitive, and the unexpected. The “logical” is the argument or the dialogue; the “unexpected” is the intuitive or the liminal factor; and the “primitive” is the naked. This short tale has a very raw mood and I felt that’s how the audience should experience it. Raw is vulnerable, unhidden, exposed. Raw is also powerful since it’s honest and pure. Raw is also uncivilized and I set this story just below the surface of civilization. The nakedness is a reflection not of how we are in our day-to-day encounters, but how we are when only we can see ourselves. Naked to our own naked “inner” eye. Nakedness bears a negative burden in American culture. Usually nakedness is connected with sex and, of course, the verdict on sex is: guilty! Nakedness connotes the forbidden and carries with it the weight of a curse. After all, our two most famous forbears were cast out of the Garden for knowing they were naked. We are prejudiced against nakedness. There is no nobility in nakedness, only condemnation. In the museums, all the naked paintings and statues seem acceptable, but only from an emotional distance. Stone is not flesh. Neither is paint. Naked flesh is taboo. So I put this nakedness before you. Without apology. With full intention and pride. I want to see if you can watch naked players and still follow the story. I want to present nakedness in a way no-one has seen it before. I want to relieve us all of the judgment we have against nakedness. I want to separate nakedness from its usual context of prurience, of eroticism, of voyeuristic-ness. I want to take nakedness out of the elementary school cloakroom. I want nakedness to become natural, mature, noble, normal, and beside the point. I want us all to crawl just a little higher up the evolutionary scale. Nakedness also carries with it the whisper of a wish. On some level we want to be naked again. If only it were safe. If only we could escape judgment. If only we had the courage. Tonya Cornelisse (JOY) had appeared naked in several plays onstage, though never on film. Alejandra Gollas (INA) saw the nakedness as an experiment. Lucky for me they both liked the script. They are the carriers of this experiment and they make our wish come true. About
Press
Thess Short Film Festival SHOCKFEST WILDsound Film Festival Sexy International Paris Film Festival Strasbourg International Film Festival Great Lakes International Film Fest Brisbane International Film Festival Short Film Festival of Los Angeles Kansas City FilmFest Honolulu Int. Film Festival Festival du Cinéma de Paris New York Short Film Festival Heart of England Int. Film Festival ARCIPELAGO SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival Tabor Film Festival Women's International Film Festival Very Short Movies Festival Swansea Bay Film Festival Syracuse International Film Festival The Black & White Audiovisual Film Festival 6th Filmfest Eberswalde Olympia Film Festival Minneapolis Underground Film Festival Nevada Film Festival Festival Du Film De Strasbourg Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Toronto Independent Film Festival Flint Film Festival Calaveras Film Festival Salento International Film Festival Frontera Pride Film Festival San Francisco Short Film Festival Milwaukee Short Film Festival The Accolade Oldenburg International Film Festival Broadway International Film Festival Route 66 Film Festival Atlanta Underground Film Festival Silhouette Film Festival Denver Underground Film Festival Hollywood Film Festival FeSanCor Festival Internacional de Cine de Cancun Riviera Maya FILMSTOCK MIX Brasil 13th IFF Kerala Golden Gate Fiction + Doc FF Chicago Short Film Festival Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival Mar del Plata Short Film Festival Sarasota Fringe Film Festival Naoussa International Film Festival Int. Short Film Festival in Drama New Orleans Film Festival Montana Independent Film Festival Singapore Short Film Festival Dark River Film Festival Zero Film Festival - LA & NYC Cannes Independent Film Festival BANGKOK INDIEFEST 2010 2010 California Film Awards Directors Circle Festival of Shorts Short Film Corner-Festival de Cannes ISFF Detmold 09 ISFF Kratkofil Ahmedabad International Film Festival BUSHO (Budapest Short Film Festival) AOF Film Festival International ASTERFEST No. 5 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market Rochester International Film Festival Seattle True Independent FF Women In Film, B.C. 23rd London Lesbian and Gay FF ÉCU The European Independent FF Nickel Independent Film Festival Tregor Film Festival NewFilmmakers NY Shoot Me Film Festival Festivals
Awards
Cast + Crew

 

Credits

 

 

(opening titles)

 

TRISKELION ENTERTAINMENT

 

Presents

 

Tonya Cornelisse        Alejandra Gollas

 

LIMINAL

 

 

(end titles)

 

Written + Directed by

Stephen Keep Mills

 

Editor

Tamera Martin

 

Director of Photography

Michael Alba

 

Production Design

Rachel Myers

 

Cast

(in order of appearance)

 

Ina

Alejandra Gollas

 

Joy

Tonya Cornelisse

 

Producers

Patrick Cunningham

 Tamera Martin

 

Sound

David McJunkin

 

 

Boom Operator

Debbie Pinthus

 

Gaffers

Michael Kelly

David Ghegan

 

Key Grip

David Myrick

 

Grip + Swing

Carlitos

Wyatt Denny

Joe Hill

Jack Richardson

 

First Assistant Camera

Coby Garfield

 

Second Assistant Camera

Darrel Harrington

 

Script Supervisor

Denise Eldridge

 

Make-up + Hair

Tawney Bevaqua

Brittney Roberts

Tamera Smart

 

On-Set Costumer

Regina Rodgers

 

Assistant Director

Nino Aldi

 

Concept Artist

Michele Moen

 

Storyboard Artist

Anthony Diecidue

 

Still Photographer

Ron Pereira

 

Action Advisor

Tony Snegoff

 

Craft Service

Aimee Burton

 

Location Manager

Plan-it Locations

 

Set Painting + Decoration

Reanna Fitzpatrick

Katia Kaplun

Emily Lawless

Tamra Stern

Chippy Todd

 

 

On-Set Dressers

Wade Carr

Mario Osuna

 

Set Construction

John Kersey

 

Post Production Services

Technicolor Creative Services

WavaFlow Studios

Filmlook

Deluxe

 

Additional Editor

L. Carney

 

Avid Technical Assistant

Nathan Thompson

 

Aerial Photography

Helinet Aviation

 

Executive Producer

Stephen Keep Mills

 

Legal

Michael Baranov

Andrew Weissman

 

Special Thanks

Duncan Meyers

Julia Allen

 

Screen Actors Guild + SAGIndie (with logo)

 

Filmed at BenKitay Studios Hollywood, California (with logo)

Chapman/Leonard (logo only)

Panavision (logo only)

Fuji Film (logo only)

 

 

Triskelion Entertainment (with animated logo)

© 2008—All Rights Reserved

 

Extras

Figurines

Production Designer Rachel Myers made these miniature models to bring the world of LIMINAL into scale. I found these pictures of her skill that created a world that simultaneously was and wasn’t.

First Look

One piece of luck living in the Topanga wilds was that my neighbor was Michele Moen, an award-winning Matte and Conceptual Artist, basically number one in the film industry. She generously provided two drawings for the very first look of LIMINAL . Here is her take:

Story Board

Story board artist Anthony Diecidue was a huge help making the story come alive for the eye so the CAMERA could take it from there. Here’s the LIMINAL collection. Take the ride!

 

HELICOPTER POV

LIMINAL when first completed was 22 minutes long and I had to cut it down to 14 in order to comply with European festivals which put that limit on short films. So here is some of what was cut—great aerial shots of INA running away from JOY into the LA camouflage of anonymity. Our helicopter (Helinet Aviation) lifted off from Van Nuys airport and luckily we had a very atmospheric day for shooting.

 

Top ^

A woman. Her body. A destructive, controlling voice. INA and JOY are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. INA must reverse the power to survive. Are they lovers or is JOY the “killer-within”? Shot in 35mm in b/w, this 14-minute film will take you below the surface of civilization into the volatile world of the feminine psyche and the white‐hot fight for survival. A simple sweater is the object of fury.
LIMINAL was shot in one week at Ben Kitay Studios in Hollywood, CA. There was also a day on location in the warehouse district, downtown Los Angeles, and some aerial photography (never used--see Extras) one Sunday morning from Van Nuys airport through the fogs of Glendale and over the freeway. The actors rehearsed approximately 50 hours at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City prior to shooting. All casting was the result of postings on NowCasting, LACasting, and SAGIndie websites. The contract is SAG Ultra Low Budget. Two 35mm Panavision cameras were used to shoot on Fuji color film which was then desaturated into Black and White. The film was completed in June, 2008, and has a running time of 14 minutes. Completed: June, 2008, TRT: 14 min., Shooting Format: 35mm B&W, Available Formats: DVD (region 0), DigiBeta (NTSC/PAL), BetaSP (NTSC/PAL), 1348 feet/411 meters, 1 roll, Aspect Ratio: 1:85, Origin: USA, CA Key Credits: Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Stephen Keep Mills, Editor: Tamera Martin, Director of Photography: Michael Alba, Production Design: Rachel Myers, Sound: David McJunkin, Producer: Patrick Cunningham. Cast: Tonya Cornelisse, Alejandra Gollas Tagline: Think it’s a dream? What’s in a word: Choosing a title I love the description of the word "liminal" in the dictionary: “of, pertaining to, or situated at the limen.” Look up “limen” and you find it means: “threshold”, and that the term “liminal” refers to “a psychological or physiological response.” I like the word. It’s one of those words that conveys mystery and mystery is much of what our lives are about. Mystery defines us—if we could ever decipher it. So, I picked this word because I want—not to confuse you—but to mystify you. Is this story a tale of domestic distress? Or is JOY the shadow/nemesis of INA and therefore the whole thing is not an external drama at all but an internal and psychological one? It’s both. It’s domestic and it’s abstract and we live in both worlds all the time where we mistake actions for “real” that are really leaks from our unconscious. We live in these two dimensions at once and that, to me, is the meaning of liminal—a world where reality and dream play musical chairs— neither one winning—all the time. I don’t like the concrete. I don’t like definitions or formulas. I think they can be false gods that we invoke to spare us from the uncertainty of living. I prefer the uncertainty because I think it’s closer to the truths about us. We are not subject to proof. We live in the expanding magma of our own active volcano. Our pains and joys are real but they come to us through some existential mist we can’t explain. There is no explanation for this story. It so happens one person kills another or “kills” ie. separates from a part of one’s being that needed to be cut loose. It’s not a dream. We act and we don’t know why. We watch ourselves responding to the under-gut of our own instinct. We don’t choose how we live. We live and then try to figure it out. This story is about how one person fights for her soul so that she could then go about the business of becoming. She had to wrest herself from her own negative grasp. She didn’t plan it out. Her instincts came through for her just at the needed moment. That would be the “liminal” moment. Can you explain that? Me either, but at least there is a word for it. Production History: When the concept changes. As casting began, I was looking for ROY and INA. When all was said and done, I was looking at INA and JOY. How is that? How did a tale exploring a deadly domestic dispute between two heterosexual lovers become an equally deadly but psychological war between a woman and her same-sex shadow? Well, one issue (nudity) oddly led to the other (concept change) and I’m going to lay the genesis of this transformation at the feet of my two fearless and gifted leading ladies: Tonya Cornelisse and Alejandra Gollas. LIMINAL is a tale of control, reversal of power, and the emergence of self—all because of a sweater which INA thinks made her look good and, as first written, ROY thinks made her look too good. Two actors were offered the role of ROY and turned it down through their managers. The deal-breaker for each was the issue of nudity. For the role of INA, I had just the opposite issue—two equally fabulous candidates ready to play and only one could be cast. I wasn’t looking forward to selecting just one. I knew the other would be just as fantastic. Two more ROY’s declined (different managers, same issue). I looked again at the photos—the two actresses who were so good—then I went to the Muse with the magic question: “What if?” At the extended final callbacks (I still had some excellent guys—this is LA after all and I had gotten over 1500 submissions from the sites of Now Casting, LA Casting and SAG Indie), I asked Tonya and Alejandra to stay just a little longer. I let loose my idea: what if INA was in a battle with a negative part of herself that prevents her growth? What if this force represented "the voice within" that always diminished her? What if this wasn’t a domestic contest at all, but a psychological war of the interior? They read the script together and it became clear the course we would follow. This conflict would turn inward. The set design would have to change, the cinematography would have to change, the dialogue, too—not much, but slightly, and presto! JOY sprang fresh from the rib of ROY. From a violent, lost, and insecure male, JOY blossomed into an uncompromising, relentless, Fury of a woman—a shadow not a lover—the anti-self which wants to keep INA forever on the ropes of defeat, never allowing her true being to develop, a vicious inner Villain. So, this is how the story was waiting to be told—not as first conceived, but as now discovered, still as raw, but even more intimate. When the enemy is within and you are fighting your own self-destruction, survival couldn’t be more personal. And for this I have my actresses to thank. Their talent simply transcended elimination. THEY’RE NAKED: Removing the Taboo The most obvious element of this film is that both players are naked. Completely and throughout. I had in my mind that it should be played this way. Not for erotic reasons since there is nothing erotic about the story. Not for a gimmick since gimmicks quickly lose dramatic relevance. I thought they should be naked because the story operated on three levels: the logical, the primitive, and the unexpected. The “logical” is the argument or the dialogue; the “unexpected” is the intuitive or the liminal factor; and the “primitive” is the naked. This short tale has a very raw mood and I felt that’s how the audience should experience it. Raw is vulnerable, unhidden, exposed. Raw is also powerful since it’s honest and pure. Raw is also uncivilized and I set this story just below the surface of civilization. The nakedness is a reflection not of how we are in our day-to-day encounters, but how we are when only we can see ourselves. Naked to our own naked “inner” eye. Nakedness bears a negative burden in American culture. Usually nakedness is connected with sex and, of course, the verdict on sex is: guilty! Nakedness connotes the forbidden and carries with it the weight of a curse. After all, our two most famous forbears were cast out of the Garden for knowing they were naked. We are prejudiced against nakedness. There is no nobility in nakedness, only condemnation. In the museums, all the naked paintings and statues seem acceptable, but only from an emotional distance. Stone is not flesh. Neither is paint. Naked flesh is taboo. So I put this nakedness before you. Without apology. With full intention and pride. I want to see if you can watch naked players and still follow the story. I want to present nakedness in a way no-one has seen it before. I want to relieve us all of the judgment we have against nakedness. I want to separate nakedness from its usual context of prurience, of eroticism, of voyeuristic-ness. I want to take nakedness out of the elementary school cloakroom. I want nakedness to become natural, mature, noble, normal, and beside the point. I want us all to crawl just a little higher up the evolutionary scale. Nakedness also carries with it the whisper of a wish. On some level we want to be naked again. If only it were safe. If only we could escape judgment. If only we had the courage. Tonya Cornelisse (JOY) had appeared naked in several plays onstage, though never on film. Alejandra Gollas (INA) saw the nakedness as an experiment. Lucky for me they both liked the script. They are the carriers of this experiment and they make our wish come true. About
Press
Festivals Thess Short Film Festival SHOCKFEST WILDsound Film Festival Sexy International Paris Film Festival Strasbourg International Film Festival Great Lakes International Film Fest Brisbane International Film Festival Short Film Festival of Los Angeles Kansas City FilmFest Honolulu Int. Film Festival Festival du Cinéma de Paris New York Short Film Festival Heart of England Int. Film Festival ARCIPELAGO SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival Tabor Film Festival Women's International Film Festival Very Short Movies Festival Swansea Bay Film Festival Syracuse International Film Festival The Black & White Audiovisual Film Festival 6th Filmfest Eberswalde Olympia Film Festival Minneapolis Underground Film Festival Nevada Film Festival Festival Du Film De Strasbourg Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Toronto Independent Film Festival Flint Film Festival Calaveras Film Festival Salento International Film Festival Frontera Pride Film Festival San Francisco Short Film Festival Milwaukee Short Film Festival The Accolade Oldenburg International Film Festival Broadway International Film Festival Route 66 Film Festival Atlanta Underground Film Festival Silhouette Film Festival Denver Underground Film Festival Hollywood Film Festival FeSanCor Festival Internacional de Cine de Cancun Riviera Maya FILMSTOCK MIX Brasil 13th IFF Kerala Golden Gate Fiction + Doc FF Chicago Short Film Festival Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival Mar del Plata Short Film Festival Sarasota Fringe Film Festival Naoussa International Film Festival Int. Short Film Festival in Drama New Orleans Film Festival Montana Independent Film Festival Singapore Short Film Festival Dark River Film Festival Zero Film Festival - LA & NYC Cannes Independent Film Festival BANGKOK INDIEFEST 2010 2010 California Film Awards Directors Circle Festival of Shorts Short Film Corner-Festival de Cannes ISFF Detmold 09 ISFF Kratkofil Ahmedabad International Film Festival BUSHO (Budapest Short Film Festival) AOF Film Festival International ASTERFEST No. 5 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market Rochester International Film Festival Seattle True Independent FF Women In Film, B.C. 23rd London Lesbian and Gay FF ÉCU The European Independent FF Nickel Independent Film Festival Tregor Film Festival NewFilmmakers NY Shoot Me Film Festival Awards
Cast + Crew
Extras
A woman. Her body. A destructive, controlling voice. INA and JOY are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. INA must reverse the power to survive. Are they lovers or is JOY the “killer-within”? Shot in 35mm in b/w, this 14-minute film will take you below the surface of civilization into the volatile world of the feminine psyche and the white‐hot fight for survival. A simple sweater is the object of fury.
LIMINAL was shot in one week at Ben Kitay Studios in Hollywood, CA. There was also a day on location in the warehouse district, downtown Los Angeles, and some aerial photography (never used--see Extras) one Sunday morning from Van Nuys airport through the fogs of Glendale and over the freeway. The actors rehearsed approximately 50 hours at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City prior to shooting. All casting was the result of postings on NowCasting, LACasting, and SAGIndie websites. The contract is SAG Ultra Low Budget. Two 35mm Panavision cameras were used to shoot on Fuji color film which was then desaturated into Black and White. The film was completed in June, 2008, and has a running time of 14 minutes. Completed: June, 2008, TRT: 14 min., Shooting Format: 35mm B&W, Available Formats: DVD (region 0), DigiBeta (NTSC/PAL), BetaSP (NTSC/PAL), 1348 feet/411 meters, 1 roll, Aspect Ratio: 1:85, Origin: USA, CA Key Credits: Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Stephen Keep Mills, Editor: Tamera Martin, Director of Photography: Michael Alba, Production Design: Rachel Myers, Sound: David McJunkin, Producer: Patrick Cunningham. Cast: Tonya Cornelisse, Alejandra Gollas Tagline: Think it’s a dream? What’s in a word: Choosing a title I love the description of the word "liminal" in the dictionary: “of, pertaining to, or situated at the limen.” Look up “limen” and you find it means: “threshold”, and that the term “liminal” refers to “a psychological or physiological response.” I like the word. It’s one of those words that conveys mystery and mystery is much of what our lives are about. Mystery defines us—if we could ever decipher it. So, I picked this word because I want—not to confuse you—but to mystify you. Is this story a tale of domestic distress? Or is JOY the shadow/nemesis of INA and therefore the whole thing is not an external drama at all but an internal and psychological one? It’s both. It’s domestic and it’s abstract and we live in both worlds all the time where we mistake actions for “real” that are really leaks from our unconscious. We live in these two dimensions at once and that, to me, is the meaning of liminal—a world where reality and dream play musical chairs— neither one winning—all the time. I don’t like the concrete. I don’t like definitions or formulas. I think they can be false gods that we invoke to spare us from the uncertainty of living. I prefer the uncertainty because I think it’s closer to the truths about us. We are not subject to proof. We live in the expanding magma of our own active volcano. Our pains and joys are real but they come to us through some existential mist we can’t explain. There is no explanation for this story. It so happens one person kills another or “kills” ie. separates from a part of one’s being that needed to be cut loose. It’s not a dream. We act and we don’t know why. We watch ourselves responding to the under-gut of our own instinct. We don’t choose how we live. We live and then try to figure it out. This story is about how one person fights for her soul so that she could then go about the business of becoming. She had to wrest herself from her own negative grasp. She didn’t plan it out. Her instincts came through for her just at the needed moment. That would be the “liminal” moment. Can you explain that? Me either, but at least there is a word for it. Production History: When the concept changes. As casting began, I was looking for ROY and INA. When all was said and done, I was looking at INA and JOY. How is that? How did a tale exploring a deadly domestic dispute between two heterosexual lovers become an equally deadly but psychological war between a woman and her same-sex shadow? Well, one issue (nudity) oddly led to the other (concept change) and I’m going to lay the genesis of this transformation at the feet of my two fearless and gifted leading ladies: Tonya Cornelisse and Alejandra Gollas. LIMINAL is a tale of control, reversal of power, and the emergence of self—all because of a sweater which INA thinks made her look good and, as first written, ROY thinks made her look too good. Two actors were offered the role of ROY and turned it down through their managers. The deal-breaker for each was the issue of nudity. For the role of INA, I had just the opposite issue—two equally fabulous candidates ready to play and only one could be cast. I wasn’t looking forward to selecting just one. I knew the other would be just as fantastic. Two more ROY’s declined (different managers, same issue). I looked again at the photos—the two actresses who were so good—then I went to the Muse with the magic question: “What if?” At the extended final callbacks (I still had some excellent guys—this is LA after all and I had gotten over 1500 submissions from the sites of Now Casting, LA Casting and SAG Indie), I asked Tonya and Alejandra to stay just a little longer. I let loose my idea: what if INA was in a battle with a negative part of herself that prevents her growth? What if this force represented "the voice within" that always diminished her? What if this wasn’t a domestic contest at all, but a psychological war of the interior? They read the script together and it became clear the course we would follow. This conflict would turn inward. The set design would have to change, the cinematography would have to change, the dialogue, too—not much, but slightly, and presto! JOY sprang fresh from the rib of ROY. From a violent, lost, and insecure male, JOY blossomed into an uncompromising, relentless, Fury of a woman—a shadow not a lover—the anti-self which wants to keep INA forever on the ropes of defeat, never allowing her true being to develop, a vicious inner Villain. So, this is how the story was waiting to be told—not as first conceived, but as now discovered, still as raw, but even more intimate. When the enemy is within and you are fighting your own self-destruction, survival couldn’t be more personal. And for this I have my actresses to thank. Their talent simply transcended elimination. THEY’RE NAKED: Removing the Taboo The most obvious element of this film is that both players are naked. Completely and throughout. I had in my mind that it should be played this way. Not for erotic reasons since there is nothing erotic about the story. Not for a gimmick since gimmicks quickly lose dramatic relevance. I thought they should be naked because the story operated on three levels: the logical, the primitive, and the unexpected. The “logical” is the argument or the dialogue; the “unexpected” is the intuitive or the liminal factor; and the “primitive” is the naked. This short tale has a very raw mood and I felt that’s how the audience should experience it. Raw is vulnerable, unhidden, exposed. Raw is also powerful since it’s honest and pure. Raw is also uncivilized and I set this story just below the surface of civilization. The nakedness is a reflection not of how we are in our day-to-day encounters, but how we are when only we can see ourselves. Naked to our own naked “inner” eye. Nakedness bears a negative burden in American culture. Usually nakedness is connected with sex and, of course, the verdict on sex is: guilty! Nakedness connotes the forbidden and carries with it the weight of a curse. After all, our two most famous forbears were cast out of the Garden for knowing they were naked. We are prejudiced against nakedness. There is no nobility in nakedness, only condemnation. In the museums, all the naked paintings and statues seem acceptable, but only from an emotional distance. Stone is not flesh. Neither is paint. Naked flesh is taboo. So I put this nakedness before you. Without apology. With full intention and pride. I want to see if you can watch naked players and still follow the story. I want to present nakedness in a way no-one has seen it before. I want to relieve us all of the judgment we have against nakedness. I want to separate nakedness from its usual context of prurience, of eroticism, of voyeuristic-ness. I want to take nakedness out of the elementary school cloakroom. I want nakedness to become natural, mature, noble, normal, and beside the point. I want us all to crawl just a little higher up the evolutionary scale. Nakedness also carries with it the whisper of a wish. On some level we want to be naked again. If only it were safe. If only we could escape judgment. If only we had the courage. Tonya Cornelisse (JOY) had appeared naked in several plays onstage, though never on film. Alejandra Gollas (INA) saw the nakedness as an experiment. Lucky for me they both liked the script. They are the carriers of this experiment and they make our wish come true. About
Press
Thess Short Film Festival SHOCKFEST WILDsound Film Festival Sexy International Paris Film Festival Strasbourg International Film Festival Great Lakes International Film Fest Brisbane International Film Festival Short Film Festival of Los Angeles Kansas City FilmFest Honolulu Int. Film Festival Festival du Cinéma de Paris New York Short Film Festival Heart of England Int. Film Festival ARCIPELAGO SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival Tabor Film Festival Women's International Film Festival Very Short Movies Festival Swansea Bay Film Festival Syracuse International Film Festival The Black & White Audiovisual Film Festival 6th Filmfest Eberswalde Olympia Film Festival Minneapolis Underground Film Festival Nevada Film Festival Festival Du Film De Strasbourg Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Toronto Independent Film Festival Flint Film Festival Calaveras Film Festival Salento International Film Festival Frontera Pride Film Festival San Francisco Short Film Festival Milwaukee Short Film Festival The Accolade Oldenburg International Film Festival Broadway International Film Festival Route 66 Film Festival Atlanta Underground Film Festival Silhouette Film Festival Denver Underground Film Festival Hollywood Film Festival FeSanCor Festival Internacional de Cine de Cancun Riviera Maya FILMSTOCK MIX Brasil 13th IFF Kerala Golden Gate Fiction + Doc FF Chicago Short Film Festival Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival Mar del Plata Short Film Festival Sarasota Fringe Film Festival Naoussa International Film Festival Int. Short Film Festival in Drama New Orleans Film Festival Montana Independent Film Festival Singapore Short Film Festival Dark River Film Festival Zero Film Festival - LA & NYC Cannes Independent Film Festival BANGKOK INDIEFEST 2010 2010 California Film Awards Directors Circle Festival of Shorts Short Film Corner-Festival de Cannes ISFF Detmold 09 ISFF Kratkofil Ahmedabad International Film Festival BUSHO (Budapest Short Film Festival) AOF Film Festival International ASTERFEST No. 5 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market Rochester International Film Festival Seattle True Independent FF Women In Film, B.C. 23rd London Lesbian and Gay FF ÉCU The European Independent FF Nickel Independent Film Festival Tregor Film Festival NewFilmmakers NY Shoot Me Film Festival Festivals
Awards
Cast + Crew
Extras
A woman. Her body. A destructive, controlling voice. INA and JOY are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. INA must reverse the power to survive. Are they lovers or is JOY the “killer-within”? Shot in 35mm in b/w, this 14-minute film will take you below the surface of civilization into the volatile world of the feminine psyche and the white‐hot fight for survival. A simple sweater is the object of fury.
LIMINAL was shot in one week at Ben Kitay Studios in Hollywood, CA. There was also a day on location in the warehouse district, downtown Los Angeles, and some aerial photography (never used--see Extras) one Sunday morning from Van Nuys airport through the fogs of Glendale and over the freeway. The actors rehearsed approximately 50 hours at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City prior to shooting. All casting was the result of postings on NowCasting, LACasting, and SAGIndie websites. The contract is SAG Ultra Low Budget. Two 35mm Panavision cameras were used to shoot on Fuji color film which was then desaturated into Black and White. The film was completed in June, 2008, and has a running time of 14 minutes. Completed: June, 2008, TRT: 14 min., Shooting Format: 35mm B&W, Available Formats: DVD (region 0), DigiBeta (NTSC/PAL), BetaSP (NTSC/PAL), 1348 feet/411 meters, 1 roll, Aspect Ratio: 1:85, Origin: USA, CA Key Credits: Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Stephen Keep Mills, Editor: Tamera Martin, Director of Photography: Michael Alba, Production Design: Rachel Myers, Sound: David McJunkin, Producer: Patrick Cunningham. Cast: Tonya Cornelisse, Alejandra Gollas Tagline: Think it’s a dream? What’s in a word: Choosing a title I love the description of the word "liminal" in the dictionary: “of, pertaining to, or situated at the limen.” Look up “limen” and you find it means: “threshold”, and that the term “liminal” refers to “a psychological or physiological response.” I like the word. It’s one of those words that conveys mystery and mystery is much of what our lives are about. Mystery defines us—if we could ever decipher it. So, I picked this word because I want—not to confuse you—but to mystify you. Is this story a tale of domestic distress? Or is JOY the shadow/nemesis of INA and therefore the whole thing is not an external drama at all but an internal and psychological one? It’s both. It’s domestic and it’s abstract and we live in both worlds all the time where we mistake actions for “real” that are really leaks from our unconscious. We live in these two dimensions at once and that, to me, is the meaning of liminal—a world where reality and dream play musical chairs— neither one winning—all the time. I don’t like the concrete. I don’t like definitions or formulas. I think they can be false gods that we invoke to spare us from the uncertainty of living. I prefer the uncertainty because I think it’s closer to the truths about us. We are not subject to proof. We live in the expanding magma of our own active volcano. Our pains and joys are real but they come to us through some existential mist we can’t explain. There is no explanation for this story. It so happens one person kills another or “kills” ie. separates from a part of one’s being that needed to be cut loose. It’s not a dream. We act and we don’t know why. We watch ourselves responding to the under-gut of our own instinct. We don’t choose how we live. We live and then try to figure it out. This story is about how one person fights for her soul so that she could then go about the business of becoming. She had to wrest herself from her own negative grasp. She didn’t plan it out. Her instincts came through for her just at the needed moment. That would be the “liminal” moment. Can you explain that? Me either, but at least there is a word for it. Production History: When the concept changes. As casting began, I was looking for ROY and INA. When all was said and done, I was looking at INA and JOY. How is that? How did a tale exploring a deadly domestic dispute between two heterosexual lovers become an equally deadly but psychological war between a woman and her same-sex shadow? Well, one issue (nudity) oddly led to the other (concept change) and I’m going to lay the genesis of this transformation at the feet of my two fearless and gifted leading ladies: Tonya Cornelisse and Alejandra Gollas. LIMINAL is a tale of control, reversal of power, and the emergence of self—all because of a sweater which INA thinks made her look good and, as first written, ROY thinks made her look too good. Two actors were offered the role of ROY and turned it down through their managers. The deal-breaker for each was the issue of nudity. For the role of INA, I had just the opposite issue—two equally fabulous candidates ready to play and only one could be cast. I wasn’t looking forward to selecting just one. I knew the other would be just as fantastic. Two more ROY’s declined (different managers, same issue). I looked again at the photos—the two actresses who were so good—then I went to the Muse with the magic question: “What if?” At the extended final callbacks (I still had some excellent guys—this is LA after all and I had gotten over 1500 submissions from the sites of Now Casting, LA Casting and SAG Indie), I asked Tonya and Alejandra to stay just a little longer. I let loose my idea: what if INA was in a battle with a negative part of herself that prevents her growth? What if this force represented "the voice within" that always diminished her? What if this wasn’t a domestic contest at all, but a psychological war of the interior? They read the script together and it became clear the course we would follow. This conflict would turn inward. The set design would have to change, the cinematography would have to change, the dialogue, too—not much, but slightly, and presto! JOY sprang fresh from the rib of ROY. From a violent, lost, and insecure male, JOY blossomed into an uncompromising, relentless, Fury of a woman—a shadow not a lover—the anti-self which wants to keep INA forever on the ropes of defeat, never allowing her true being to develop, a vicious inner Villain. So, this is how the story was waiting to be told—not as first conceived, but as now discovered, still as raw, but even more intimate. When the enemy is within and you are fighting your own self-destruction, survival couldn’t be more personal. And for this I have my actresses to thank. Their talent simply transcended elimination. THEY’RE NAKED: Removing the Taboo The most obvious element of this film is that both players are naked. Completely and throughout. I had in my mind that it should be played this way. Not for erotic reasons since there is nothing erotic about the story. Not for a gimmick since gimmicks quickly lose dramatic relevance. I thought they should be naked because the story operated on three levels: the logical, the primitive, and the unexpected. The “logical” is the argument or the dialogue; the “unexpected” is the intuitive or the liminal factor; and the “primitive” is the naked. This short tale has a very raw mood and I felt that’s how the audience should experience it. Raw is vulnerable, unhidden, exposed. Raw is also powerful since it’s honest and pure. Raw is also uncivilized and I set this story just below the surface of civilization. The nakedness is a reflection not of how we are in our day-to-day encounters, but how we are when only we can see ourselves. Naked to our own naked “inner” eye. Nakedness bears a negative burden in American culture. Usually nakedness is connected with sex and, of course, the verdict on sex is: guilty! Nakedness connotes the forbidden and carries with it the weight of a curse. After all, our two most famous forbears were cast out of the Garden for knowing they were naked. We are prejudiced against nakedness. There is no nobility in nakedness, only condemnation. In the museums, all the naked paintings and statues seem acceptable, but only from an emotional distance. Stone is not flesh. Neither is paint. Naked flesh is taboo. So I put this nakedness before you. Without apology. With full intention and pride. I want to see if you can watch naked players and still follow the story. I want to present nakedness in a way no-one has seen it before. I want to relieve us all of the judgment we have against nakedness. I want to separate nakedness from its usual context of prurience, of eroticism, of voyeuristic-ness. I want to take nakedness out of the elementary school cloakroom. I want nakedness to become natural, mature, noble, normal, and beside the point. I want us all to crawl just a little higher up the evolutionary scale. Nakedness also carries with it the whisper of a wish. On some level we want to be naked again. If only it were safe. If only we could escape judgment. If only we had the courage. Tonya Cornelisse (JOY) had appeared naked in several plays onstage, though never on film. Alejandra Gollas (INA) saw the nakedness as an experiment. Lucky for me they both liked the script. They are the carriers of this experiment and they make our wish come true. About
Press
Thess Short Film Festival SHOCKFEST WILDsound Film Festival Sexy International Paris Film Festival Strasbourg International Film Festival Great Lakes International Film Fest Brisbane International Film Festival Short Film Festival of Los Angeles Kansas City FilmFest Honolulu Int. Film Festival Festival du Cinéma de Paris New York Short Film Festival Heart of England Int. Film Festival ARCIPELAGO SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival Tabor Film Festival Women's International Film Festival Very Short Movies Festival Swansea Bay Film Festival Syracuse International Film Festival The Black & White Audiovisual Film Festival 6th Filmfest Eberswalde Olympia Film Festival Minneapolis Underground Film Festival Nevada Film Festival Festival Du Film De Strasbourg Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Toronto Independent Film Festival Flint Film Festival Calaveras Film Festival Salento International Film Festival Frontera Pride Film Festival San Francisco Short Film Festival Milwaukee Short Film Festival The Accolade Oldenburg International Film Festival Broadway International Film Festival Route 66 Film Festival Atlanta Underground Film Festival Silhouette Film Festival Denver Underground Film Festival Hollywood Film Festival FeSanCor Festival Internacional de Cine de Cancun Riviera Maya FILMSTOCK MIX Brasil 13th IFF Kerala Golden Gate Fiction + Doc FF Chicago Short Film Festival Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival Mar del Plata Short Film Festival Sarasota Fringe Film Festival Naoussa International Film Festival Int. Short Film Festival in Drama New Orleans Film Festival Montana Independent Film Festival Singapore Short Film Festival Dark River Film Festival Zero Film Festival - LA & NYC Cannes Independent Film Festival BANGKOK INDIEFEST 2010 2010 California Film Awards Directors Circle Festival of Shorts Short Film Corner-Festival de Cannes ISFF Detmold 09 ISFF Kratkofil Ahmedabad International Film Festival BUSHO (Budapest Short Film Festival) AOF Film Festival International ASTERFEST No. 5 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market Rochester International Film Festival Seattle True Independent FF Women In Film, B.C. 23rd London Lesbian and Gay FF ÉCU The European Independent FF Nickel Independent Film Festival Tregor Film Festival NewFilmmakers NY Shoot Me Film Festival Festivals
Awards
Cast + Crew
Extras
A woman. Her body. A destructive, controlling voice. INA and JOY are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. INA must reverse the power to survive. Are they lovers or is JOY the “killer-within”? Shot in 35mm in b/w, this 14-minute film will take you below the surface of civilization into the volatile world of the feminine psyche and the white‐hot fight for survival. A simple sweater is the object of fury.
LIMINAL was shot in one week at Ben Kitay Studios in Hollywood, CA. There was also a day on location in the warehouse district, downtown Los Angeles, and some aerial photography (never used--see Extras) one Sunday morning from Van Nuys airport through the fogs of Glendale and over the freeway. The actors rehearsed approximately 50 hours at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City prior to shooting. All casting was the result of postings on NowCasting, LACasting, and SAGIndie websites. The contract is SAG Ultra Low Budget. Two 35mm Panavision cameras were used to shoot on Fuji color film which was then desaturated into Black and White. The film was completed in June, 2008, and has a running time of 14 minutes. Completed: June, 2008, TRT: 14 min., Shooting Format: 35mm B&W, Available Formats: DVD (region 0), DigiBeta (NTSC/PAL), BetaSP (NTSC/PAL), 1348 feet/411 meters, 1 roll, Aspect Ratio: 1:85, Origin: USA, CA Key Credits: Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Stephen Keep Mills, Editor: Tamera Martin, Director of Photography: Michael Alba, Production Design: Rachel Myers, Sound: David McJunkin, Producer: Patrick Cunningham. Cast: Tonya Cornelisse, Alejandra Gollas Tagline: Think it’s a dream? What’s in a word: Choosing a title I love the description of the word "liminal" in the dictionary: “of, pertaining to, or situated at the limen.” Look up “limen” and you find it means: “threshold”, and that the term “liminal” refers to “a psychological or physiological response.” I like the word. It’s one of those words that conveys mystery and mystery is much of what our lives are about. Mystery defines us—if we could ever decipher it. So, I picked this word because I want—not to confuse you—but to mystify you. Is this story a tale of domestic distress? Or is JOY the shadow/nemesis of INA and therefore the whole thing is not an external drama at all but an internal and psychological one? It’s both. It’s domestic and it’s abstract and we live in both worlds all the time where we mistake actions for “real” that are really leaks from our unconscious. We live in these two dimensions at once and that, to me, is the meaning of liminal—a world where reality and dream play musical chairs— neither one winning—all the time. I don’t like the concrete. I don’t like definitions or formulas. I think they can be false gods that we invoke to spare us from the uncertainty of living. I prefer the uncertainty because I think it’s closer to the truths about us. We are not subject to proof. We live in the expanding magma of our own active volcano. Our pains and joys are real but they come to us through some existential mist we can’t explain. There is no explanation for this story. It so happens one person kills another or “kills” ie. separates from a part of one’s being that needed to be cut loose. It’s not a dream. We act and we don’t know why. We watch ourselves responding to the under-gut of our own instinct. We don’t choose how we live. We live and then try to figure it out. This story is about how one person fights for her soul so that she could then go about the business of becoming. She had to wrest herself from her own negative grasp. She didn’t plan it out. Her instincts came through for her just at the needed moment. That would be the “liminal” moment. Can you explain that? Me either, but at least there is a word for it. Production History: When the concept changes. As casting began, I was looking for ROY and INA. When all was said and done, I was looking at INA and JOY. How is that? How did a tale exploring a deadly domestic dispute between two heterosexual lovers become an equally deadly but psychological war between a woman and her same-sex shadow? Well, one issue (nudity) oddly led to the other (concept change) and I’m going to lay the genesis of this transformation at the feet of my two fearless and gifted leading ladies: Tonya Cornelisse and Alejandra Gollas. LIMINAL is a tale of control, reversal of power, and the emergence of self—all because of a sweater which INA thinks made her look good and, as first written, ROY thinks made her look too good. Two actors were offered the role of ROY and turned it down through their managers. The deal-breaker for each was the issue of nudity. For the role of INA, I had just the opposite issue—two equally fabulous candidates ready to play and only one could be cast. I wasn’t looking forward to selecting just one. I knew the other would be just as fantastic. Two more ROY’s declined (different managers, same issue). I looked again at the photos—the two actresses who were so good—then I went to the Muse with the magic question: “What if?” At the extended final callbacks (I still had some excellent guys—this is LA after all and I had gotten over 1500 submissions from the sites of Now Casting, LA Casting and SAG Indie), I asked Tonya and Alejandra to stay just a little longer. I let loose my idea: what if INA was in a battle with a negative part of herself that prevents her growth? What if this force represented "the voice within" that always diminished her? What if this wasn’t a domestic contest at all, but a psychological war of the interior? They read the script together and it became clear the course we would follow. This conflict would turn inward. The set design would have to change, the cinematography would have to change, the dialogue, too—not much, but slightly, and presto! JOY sprang fresh from the rib of ROY. From a violent, lost, and insecure male, JOY blossomed into an uncompromising, relentless, Fury of a woman—a shadow not a lover—the anti-self which wants to keep INA forever on the ropes of defeat, never allowing her true being to develop, a vicious inner Villain. So, this is how the story was waiting to be told—not as first conceived, but as now discovered, still as raw, but even more intimate. When the enemy is within and you are fighting your own self-destruction, survival couldn’t be more personal. And for this I have my actresses to thank. Their talent simply transcended elimination. THEY’RE NAKED: Removing the Taboo The most obvious element of this film is that both players are naked. Completely and throughout. I had in my mind that it should be played this way. Not for erotic reasons since there is nothing erotic about the story. Not for a gimmick since gimmicks quickly lose dramatic relevance. I thought they should be naked because the story operated on three levels: the logical, the primitive, and the unexpected. The “logical” is the argument or the dialogue; the “unexpected” is the intuitive or the liminal factor; and the “primitive” is the naked. This short tale has a very raw mood and I felt that’s how the audience should experience it. Raw is vulnerable, unhidden, exposed. Raw is also powerful since it’s honest and pure. Raw is also uncivilized and I set this story just below the surface of civilization. The nakedness is a reflection not of how we are in our day-to-day encounters, but how we are when only we can see ourselves. Naked to our own naked “inner” eye. Nakedness bears a negative burden in American culture. Usually nakedness is connected with sex and, of course, the verdict on sex is: guilty! Nakedness connotes the forbidden and carries with it the weight of a curse. After all, our two most famous forbears were cast out of the Garden for knowing they were naked. We are prejudiced against nakedness. There is no nobility in nakedness, only condemnation. In the museums, all the naked paintings and statues seem acceptable, but only from an emotional distance. Stone is not flesh. Neither is paint. Naked flesh is taboo. So I put this nakedness before you. Without apology. With full intention and pride. I want to see if you can watch naked players and still follow the story. I want to present nakedness in a way no-one has seen it before. I want to relieve us all of the judgment we have against nakedness. I want to separate nakedness from its usual context of prurience, of eroticism, of voyeuristic-ness. I want to take nakedness out of the elementary school cloakroom. I want nakedness to become natural, mature, noble, normal, and beside the point. I want us all to crawl just a little higher up the evolutionary scale. Nakedness also carries with it the whisper of a wish. On some level we want to be naked again. If only it were safe. If only we could escape judgment. If only we had the courage. Tonya Cornelisse (JOY) had appeared naked in several plays onstage, though never on film. Alejandra Gollas (INA) saw the nakedness as an experiment. Lucky for me they both liked the script. They are the carriers of this experiment and they make our wish come true. About
Press
Thess Short Film Festival SHOCKFEST WILDsound Film Festival Sexy International Paris Film Festival Strasbourg International Film Festival Great Lakes International Film Fest Brisbane International Film Festival Short Film Festival of Los Angeles Kansas City FilmFest Honolulu Int. Film Festival Festival du Cinéma de Paris New York Short Film Festival Heart of England Int. Film Festival ARCIPELAGO SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival Tabor Film Festival Women's International Film Festival Very Short Movies Festival Swansea Bay Film Festival Syracuse International Film Festival The Black & White Audiovisual Film Festival 6th Filmfest Eberswalde Olympia Film Festival Minneapolis Underground Film Festival Nevada Film Festival Festival Du Film De Strasbourg Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Toronto Independent Film Festival Flint Film Festival Calaveras Film Festival Salento International Film Festival Frontera Pride Film Festival San Francisco Short Film Festival Milwaukee Short Film Festival The Accolade Oldenburg International Film Festival Broadway International Film Festival Route 66 Film Festival Atlanta Underground Film Festival Silhouette Film Festival Denver Underground Film Festival Hollywood Film Festival FeSanCor Festival Internacional de Cine de Cancun Riviera Maya FILMSTOCK MIX Brasil 13th IFF Kerala Golden Gate Fiction + Doc FF Chicago Short Film Festival Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival Mar del Plata Short Film Festival Sarasota Fringe Film Festival Naoussa International Film Festival Int. Short Film Festival in Drama New Orleans Film Festival Montana Independent Film Festival Singapore Short Film Festival Dark River Film Festival Zero Film Festival - LA & NYC Cannes Independent Film Festival BANGKOK INDIEFEST 2010 2010 California Film Awards Directors Circle Festival of Shorts Short Film Corner-Festival de Cannes ISFF Detmold 09 ISFF Kratkofil Ahmedabad International Film Festival BUSHO (Budapest Short Film Festival) AOF Film Festival International ASTERFEST No. 5 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market Rochester International Film Festival Seattle True Independent FF Women In Film, B.C. 23rd London Lesbian and Gay FF ÉCU The European Independent FF Nickel Independent Film Festival Tregor Film Festival NewFilmmakers NY Shoot Me Film Festival Festivals
Awards
Cast + Crew
Extras
A woman. Her body. A destructive, controlling voice. INA and JOY are naked and locked in a battle of elimination. INA must reverse the power to survive. Are they lovers or is JOY the “killer-within”? Shot in 35mm in b/w, this 14-minute film will take you below the surface of civilization into the volatile world of the feminine psyche and the white‐hot fight for survival. A simple sweater is the object of fury.
LIMINAL was shot in one week at Ben Kitay Studios in Hollywood, CA. There was also a day on location in the warehouse district, downtown Los Angeles, and some aerial photography (never used--see Extras) one Sunday morning from Van Nuys airport through the fogs of Glendale and over the freeway. The actors rehearsed approximately 50 hours at the Whitefire Theatre in Studio City prior to shooting. All casting was the result of postings on NowCasting, LACasting, and SAGIndie websites. The contract is SAG Ultra Low Budget. Two 35mm Panavision cameras were used to shoot on Fuji color film which was then desaturated into Black and White. The film was completed in June, 2008, and has a running time of 14 minutes. Completed: June, 2008, TRT: 14 min., Shooting Format: 35mm B&W, Available Formats: DVD (region 0), DigiBeta (NTSC/PAL), BetaSP (NTSC/PAL), 1348 feet/411 meters, 1 roll, Aspect Ratio: 1:85, Origin: USA, CA Key Credits: Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Stephen Keep Mills, Editor: Tamera Martin, Director of Photography: Michael Alba, Production Design: Rachel Myers, Sound: David McJunkin, Producer: Patrick Cunningham. Cast: Tonya Cornelisse, Alejandra Gollas Tagline: Think it’s a dream? What’s in a word: Choosing a title I love the description of the word "liminal" in the dictionary: “of, pertaining to, or situated at the limen.” Look up “limen” and you find it means: “threshold”, and that the term “liminal” refers to “a psychological or physiological response.” I like the word. It’s one of those words that conveys mystery and mystery is much of what our lives are about. Mystery defines us—if we could ever decipher it. So, I picked this word because I want—not to confuse you—but to mystify you. Is this story a tale of domestic distress? Or is JOY the shadow/nemesis of INA and therefore the whole thing is not an external drama at all but an internal and psychological one? It’s both. It’s domestic and it’s abstract and we live in both worlds all the time where we mistake actions for “real” that are really leaks from our unconscious. We live in these two dimensions at once and that, to me, is the meaning of liminal—a world where reality and dream play musical chairs— neither one winning—all the time. I don’t like the concrete. I don’t like definitions or formulas. I think they can be false gods that we invoke to spare us from the uncertainty of living. I prefer the uncertainty because I think it’s closer to the truths about us. We are not subject to proof. We live in the expanding magma of our own active volcano. Our pains and joys are real but they come to us through some existential mist we can’t explain. There is no explanation for this story. It so happens one person kills another or “kills” ie. separates from a part of one’s being that needed to be cut loose. It’s not a dream. We act and we don’t know why. We watch ourselves responding to the under-gut of our own instinct. We don’t choose how we live. We live and then try to figure it out. This story is about how one person fights for her soul so that she could then go about the business of becoming. She had to wrest herself from her own negative grasp. She didn’t plan it out. Her instincts came through for her just at the needed moment. That would be the “liminal” moment. Can you explain that? Me either, but at least there is a word for it. Production History: When the concept changes. As casting began, I was looking for ROY and INA. When all was said and done, I was looking at INA and JOY. How is that? How did a tale exploring a deadly domestic dispute between two heterosexual lovers become an equally deadly but psychological war between a woman and her same-sex shadow? Well, one issue (nudity) oddly led to the other (concept change) and I’m going to lay the genesis of this transformation at the feet of my two fearless and gifted leading ladies: Tonya Cornelisse and Alejandra Gollas. LIMINAL is a tale of control, reversal of power, and the emergence of self—all because of a sweater which INA thinks made her look good and, as first written, ROY thinks made her look too good. Two actors were offered the role of ROY and turned it down through their managers. The deal-breaker for each was the issue of nudity. For the role of INA, I had just the opposite issue—two equally fabulous candidates ready to play and only one could be cast. I wasn’t looking forward to selecting just one. I knew the other would be just as fantastic. Two more ROY’s declined (different managers, same issue). I looked again at the photos—the two actresses who were so good—then I went to the Muse with the magic question: “What if?” At the extended final callbacks (I still had some excellent guys—this is LA after all and I had gotten over 1500 submissions from the sites of Now Casting, LA Casting and SAG Indie), I asked Tonya and Alejandra to stay just a little longer. I let loose my idea: what if INA was in a battle with a negative part of herself that prevents her growth? What if this force represented "the voice within" that always diminished her? What if this wasn’t a domestic contest at all, but a psychological war of the interior? They read the script together and it became clear the course we would follow. This conflict would turn inward. The set design would have to change, the cinematography would have to change, the dialogue, too—not much, but slightly, and presto! JOY sprang fresh from the rib of ROY. From a violent, lost, and insecure male, JOY blossomed into an uncompromising, relentless, Fury of a woman—a shadow not a lover—the anti-self which wants to keep INA forever on the ropes of defeat, never allowing her true being to develop, a vicious inner Villain. So, this is how the story was waiting to be told—not as first conceived, but as now discovered, still as raw, but even more intimate. When the enemy is within and you are fighting your own self-destruction, survival couldn’t be more personal. And for this I have my actresses to thank. Their talent simply transcended elimination. THEY’RE NAKED: Removing the Taboo The most obvious element of this film is that both players are naked. Completely and throughout. I had in my mind that it should be played this way. Not for erotic reasons since there is nothing erotic about the story. Not for a gimmick since gimmicks quickly lose dramatic relevance. I thought they should be naked because the story operated on three levels: the logical, the primitive, and the unexpected. The “logical” is the argument or the dialogue; the “unexpected” is the intuitive or the liminal factor; and the “primitive” is the naked. This short tale has a very raw mood and I felt that’s how the audience should experience it. Raw is vulnerable, unhidden, exposed. Raw is also powerful since it’s honest and pure. Raw is also uncivilized and I set this story just below the surface of civilization. The nakedness is a reflection not of how we are in our day-to-day encounters, but how we are when only we can see ourselves. Naked to our own naked “inner” eye. Nakedness bears a negative burden in American culture. Usually nakedness is connected with sex and, of course, the verdict on sex is: guilty! Nakedness connotes the forbidden and carries with it the weight of a curse. After all, our two most famous forbears were cast out of the Garden for knowing they were naked. We are prejudiced against nakedness. There is no nobility in nakedness, only condemnation. In the museums, all the naked paintings and statues seem acceptable, but only from an emotional distance. Stone is not flesh. Neither is paint. Naked flesh is taboo. So I put this nakedness before you. Without apology. With full intention and pride. I want to see if you can watch naked players and still follow the story. I want to present nakedness in a way no-one has seen it before. I want to relieve us all of the judgment we have against nakedness. I want to separate nakedness from its usual context of prurience, of eroticism, of voyeuristic-ness. I want to take nakedness out of the elementary school cloakroom. I want nakedness to become natural, mature, noble, normal, and beside the point. I want us all to crawl just a little higher up the evolutionary scale. Nakedness also carries with it the whisper of a wish. On some level we want to be naked again. If only it were safe. If only we could escape judgment. If only we had the courage. Tonya Cornelisse (JOY) had appeared naked in several plays onstage, though never on film. Alejandra Gollas (INA) saw the nakedness as an experiment. Lucky for me they both liked the script. They are the carriers of this experiment and they make our wish come true. About
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