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Mackenzie

AN AFI THESIS FILM

 

About the Film

On the day of her departure for college, Alison wants it to be about her for a change and not her sister Mackenzie, who she thinks is a self-centered bitch. But, as the day progresses, Alison's true feelings about her sister come to surface. She worries about how Mackenzie will battle her anorexia without her around. And when the time comes to say goodbye, an honest confrontation between the two could jeopardize the future of their relationship.

Director's statement

A sister is the person you hate the most, but would do anything for because you love her more than you will ever understand.

When we were kids, my sister and I would use one hand to torture each other and the other to protect each other against the harms of the world. I’ve always been fascinated with the wonderful, crazy and complex dynamic between sisters and the lengths to which we would go to protect each other. When I sat down to write the first draft of MACKENZIE, my thoughts about what it means to be a sister brought me back to my teenage years when I struggled with anorexia.

Images emerged from my inner eye. They were vague at first, but soon I couldn’t ignore them. A girl was lying on her bed alone in the dark, staring at the ceiling with her hands on her belly. But she didn't have a belly; she had a skeleton-body, barely covered by skin. I will never forget the fear and regret in the eyes of that lonely girl, stranded in the dark. Ten years ago, that girl was me. Anorexia was the embodiment of my deep need to express how powerless I felt, and a desperate attempt to take control over my life.
My struggle put my life on hold for years.

In MACKENZIE, Alison wrestles with feelings of guilt and abandonment on her day of moving to college. For the first time she is surpassing her older sister Mackenzie, who’s disease prevents her from doing the same. The packing symbolize Alison’s journey of growing up and leaving her childhood behind. Dreading the pending departure, Alison spends the day looking for reassurance that Mackenzie will be fine once she’s left.

 
 
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MEET THE FILMMAKERS

Sofia Åström // Director & Co-Writer

Sofia is a Swedish director with a BFA in Animation from the Institute of Art Design and Technology in Ireland. Her short films have screened at festivals around the world and for her second year at the MFA program in Directing at the American Film Institute Conservatory, Astrom was awarded with a prestigious scholarship from Women In Film and Tiffany & Co as an encouragement for her continuous directorial work. 

 

Annick Jaëgy // Producer

Annick was born in Germany, has a dual French and Swiss citizenship, and has worked on projects in over 65 countries. She holds a Master's degree in Management from SKEMA Business School in France, and started her career at Twentieth Century Fox in Germany, working on marketing campaigns for TITANIC to STAR WARS – EPISODE 1, among others. She has also worked as an international reporter, and spearheaded the Africa events division for Euromoney Institutional Investor, while consulting for media companies. In 2014, Annick decided to return to her main passion: film. She packed again and moved to Los Angeles, where she is currently pursuing an MFA in Producing at AFI.

 

Daisygreen Stenhouse // Writer

Daisygreen hails from New York City's Greenwich Village, where she lived with two utterly insane cats, and her box turtle, Lucille. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute, and previously received her BA in English from Duke University. Daisygreen started writing at a very young age with her mother, a poet, but really discovered her passion for writing through theater and film. She's incredibly excited to work on Mackenzie with this killer team. Thanks for your support!

 

Jory Anast // Writer

Jory is a BFA graduate from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is a published poet, playwright, fiction writer and columnist, her individual work studied in high schools across New South Wales and Victoria, and her plays still touring the nation with her co-run theatre company, The Violent Romantics. Now creating movies, Jory has returned to home-state California in order to complete her MFA in Screenwriting at AFI, and take road trips with these cool kids.

 

William Christensen // Cinematographer

William started his career as a photographer's assistant in NYC. It wasn't until the video DSLR revolution in 2010 that he discovered the role of cinematographer. With a newfound passion for storytelling, William embarked on a four-year journey studying cinematography at Columbia College in Chicago and partaking in the facilitation of the visual language that has defined the films he's worked on. Now a cinematography fellow at AFI, William remains incredibly devoted to the craft of storytelling and using the medium of cinematography to bring to life the vivid worlds and characters rooted in the script. 

 

Dana Maddox // Editor

Dana began her journey as a professional choreographer/dancer in New York City, traveling the globe in such musicals as Annie Get Your Gun and The Music Man. She has collaborated with musicians, writers and vagabonds on music videos, book trailers, and short films, editing her way to AFI. Her work has taken her to every state in the US except Hawaii and Alaska. She hopes to change that very soon.

 

Doriane Desfaugeres // production designer

Doriane is an honors graduate from the University of California Davis with degrees in psychology and art studio. After her post baccalaureate art studies at Columbia University, she began exploring filmmaking opportunities. She found that production design was the perfect fit for her as it marries her passion for art, film, architecture, history, and psychology into one career. Doriane loves watching her concepts come to life, and portraying the character’s psychology through design.

American Film Institute Conservatory

At the world-renowned AFI Conservatory, a dedicated group of working professionals from the film and television industries serves as mentors in a hands-on, production-based environment nurturing the talents of tomorrow's storytellers. The Conservatory is consistently recognized as one of the world's top film schools. With an emphasis on narrative visual storytelling and personal expression, each class breaks into teams that mirror a real production environment. Those teams collaborate on and produce more films than any other graduate level program. 

Established in 1967, the two-year Master of Fine Arts program provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, and Screenwriting. Admission to AFI Conservatory is highly selective, with a maximum of 140 graduates per year. AFI alumni continually celebrate critical recognition, including wins at the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Cannes Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. 

To learn more about AFI, click here: http://www.afi.com/

 
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MACKENZIE

A teenage girl deals with the emotional distress of moving to college and leaving behind her severely anorexic sister. And, as the time to say goodbye approaches, the future of their relationship is put to test.

 

Trailer 30 sec

 

Trailer 60 sec

 
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ANNICK JAËGY // PRODUCER

annick.jaegy@gmail.com

AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

2021 N Western Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90027