Director BIO: Nora Jaenicke (WHALES)

Director Biography – Nora Jaenicke

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Nora Jaenicke is an award winning filmmaker currently residing between Cambridge and New York City.

She grew up in Italy with German parents and studied Film at the European Institute of Design in Rome and Screenwriting at Vancouver Film School. Her feature length screenplay Whales was selected to be a part of the Kitzbuehl Writing Residency and was a finalist at Oscar Qualifying Nashville Film Festival and the Beverly Film Festival. Her short films have screened at 45+ Festivals and won 30+ Awards. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Elba Film Festival and Nostos Screenwriting Retreat, a script development lab in Tuscany.

Director Statement

Whales is a film about a family’s secluded, twisted world. A homage to sisterhood and the impact that lies can have on our lives.

A film with an ending that sheds light onto a dark secret that has been haunting the family members for most of their lives.  It is a challenge to describe each character in their complexity, and reveal the effects that the interweaving of past events has left upon each one of them, and most importantly, upon their relationships to one another.

The story is about an attempt to reconnect. Family members confronting their biggest fears, by trying to communicate clumsily, and perhaps for the first time. Getting together in the house that saw them united in the first place.

I wanted to tell a story that is both painful and yet, strangely beautiful and touching in its resolve, as it leaves us with Margot and Louise confronting the truth, after years of living a lie.  At the end, however, the message isn’t of peace and calm after the storm. As a matter of fact, there is no message at all. My intention is to share their lives and struggles and allow the audience to make their own conclusions.

Separated by the passing of time and different upbringings, the two sisters unexpectedly find their lives linked back together by the forces of remembrance and forgiveness. How do we forgive and forget, are the main themes that the audience is left with at the end. Is it actually possible to forgive?

By femalefilmfestival

The irony of this festival is that its goal is to not be around in 5 years time. To eventually not be relevant because there is zero need to have a festival geared for female talent and female stories because the stories presented in Hollywood and around the world are a balanced showcase of the human experience from both sexes. Our goal is to achieve a lot of success and then fold into oblivion simply because there is no need for this festival. This festival was created by the FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival as a simple reaction to a strong need to showcase female talent from around the world in a more profound way. When putting together the weekly festival, the administration noticed a lack of a female presence in the stories being shown at the festival. A classic example and analogy to the frustration is how the festival noticed that even the smaller roles in a screenplay were written for a man to play. There was zero reason for this in many stories. How a police officer, or a political campaign manager, for example with 3-4 lines in a screenplay was a "HE" character. Why? And these are the screenplays written by the winners! The talented one who have obtained agents and have began/beginning their careers as a writer.

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