Short Film: UNMANNED, 19min., USA, Military Drama

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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Director Biography – Cristina Pippa

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.

Director Statement

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.

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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