An active-duty drone operator struggles with her decision to re-enlist in the Air Force when she receives life-changing news and a danger close mission reveals the true cost of saving lives.
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An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Cristina Pippa co-directed the short films “Under One Roof,” “The Last Job,” and “Amelia.” She is committed to telling stories that focus on women and girls, a primary goal of the series she helped to create called Spark. “Amelia” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival Kids International Film Festival and was an official selection of the International Science Film Festival in Nijmegen, the Roshd International Film Festival in Tehran, and the Mumbai Film Festival, where it won the Golden Gateway Award.
Most of our cast and crew are female or veterans, a commitment made from the outset in telling this story of a woman in the military. Despite having to postpone filming due to Covid concerns, everyone in the original cast stayed onboard, and we were able to reimagine several scenes to ensure everyone’s safety. It was an honor to work with talented actors, who understood the complexities of their characters and helped to explore the value of life in war.
In portraying an active-duty female drone operator, I kept thinking about how she executes precision strikes from a bird’s eye view. As the pressure mounts in the control room where she works, she has a waking dream in which she imagines she’s the target being watched from above. We were able to get aerial footage of our protagonist running from unseen missiles and we approached every other scene’s establishing shot from a high angle. When we look down on a human, do they lose some of their humanity? Or do they have to fight harder for dignity?
Working on set with actors is such a privilege and passion of mine. With this film, I also found post-production to be a unique opportunity as a director. Collaborating with our editor and composer, I looked for ways to make an action movie out of scenes with little physicality, creating the tension of a modern-day war executed from a remote control room.