"Guaxuma" wins the Helen Hill Award for Animated Shorts
A delight to the eyes and the heart, Guaxuma is a short film that utilizes experimental animation techniques all connected to sand and drawing from director Nara Normande’s childhood in Guaxuma, Brazil.
Guaxuma bears a list of accolades longer than its 15-minute run time with top prizes from SXSW, Palm Springs, Hamptons, Cinequest and more. After Guaxuma screened at the 30th Annual New Orleans Film Festival on October 17, it was recently announced by NOFF staff that the short film has received a fifth qualifying award for the 2020 Academy Awards.
At its core, the autobiographical story is a goodbye to a childhood that passed like sand through fingers. The narrative revolves around the blossoming friendship of two girls growing up in the hippie-haven of Guaxuma. As life goes on, the two move apart--one moves to the city to live with her mother while the other stays behind in Guaxuma. Despite the distance, the two stay close until the friendship is tragically cut short by events out of their control.
Guaxuma speaks to the shifting sands of time and place as two struggle to remain as one, and it integrates its subject and central metaphor into its animation. Like waves on a shore, the passing of time inevitably washes away the footsteps we leave behind. As much as our memories and keepsakes beg to differ, there is no salvation from the oblivion of the present becoming the past.