×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Q&A: Signe Baumane Talks ‘Rocks in my Pocket’ and Animated Metaphors

Animation is Latvian-born filmmaker Signe Baumane’s way of openly sharing personal and family stories of both depression and hope. After having made 12 award-winning animated shorts, Baumane turned her focus to creating her first feature-length film “Rocks in my Pocket.” The animated film, which depicts the journey of her female family members and their battles with depression, premiered at the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival on Monday in the Czech Republic.

What kind of impact can animation have that live-action movies and docs cannot?

Animation can represent very complex ideas. It’s such a misconception that animation is just for children. In one image you can encapsulate the whole human complexion.

What metaphor in the film sticks out to you right now?

In the film there are two spirits, one that lives in the river and one in the forest. The one that lives in the river represents the will to die and the other invites you to come to the forest and nourish yourself. The spirits fight between one another.

Why are you fascinated with using animals in your animation?

We humans are part of the animal kingdom and we use animals to help explain things about ourselves. For example, we say, “he’s as timid as a bunny.” So I use a lot of bunnies in my films, especially this one. The bunny is a symbol of innocence and an animal that does not like to confront issues.

You often draw upon your Eastern European background and family ties for you animation, what else spurs your inspiration?

I have this huge need to tell this story. I feel like “Scheherazade” from the novel “A Thousand and One Nights.” I feel like I have to tell a story or I die.

What was your biggest challenge in taking on this personal film?

My relatives are very nervous when they show the film in Latvia. Nobody talks about the subject of depression there. And now I’m very nervous because they’re nervous.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Thomasin McKenzie and Essie Davis

    Thomasin McKenzie and Essie Davis to Star in 'Justice of Bunny King'

    Essie Davis, star of “The Babadook” and autumn festival hit “Babyteeth,” and “Jojo Rabbit” co-star Thomasin McKenzie will headline upcoming drama “The Justice of Bunny King.” The film, now shooting in New Zealand, is a triumph over adversity tale about women fighting their way back from the bottom of society. It is the debut feature [...]

  • Calm With Horses

    Nick Rowland Talks About Toronto Debut Film 'Calm With Horses'

    “Calm with Horses,” which made its world premiere in Toronto’s TIFF in the Discovery section, is the feature directorial debut of Nick Rowland (Amazon series “Ripper Street”), and stars Barry Keoghan (Marvel’s upcoming “The Eternals,” “Dunkirk”), Cosmo Jarvis (“Annihilation”), and Niamh Algar (BBC’s “The Virtues”). The script, which was adapted from Colin Barrett’s short story [...]

  • Colin Trevorrow Directs Jurassic World Short

    Colin Trevorrow Returns to Jurassic World in Short Film 'Battle at Big Rock'

    Dinosaurs are roaming the Earth again. In a new short from “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow, rogue beasts wreak havoc on a family camping trip. The eight-and-a-half minute film, titled “Battle at Big Rock,” takes place a year after the events of “Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.” The 2018 blockbuster — starring Chris Pratt and Bryce [...]

  • Bert Kreischer The Machine

    Legendary Lands Rights to Bert Kreischer’s Viral Story 'The Machine' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Legendary has optioned the rights to develop comedian Bert Kreischer’s story “The Machine” into a feature film following its viral success, sources tell Variety. The video has generated more than 85 million views on Facebook and YouTube since hitting the social media channels in December 2016 and Legendary moved aggressively to land the rights. Kreischer [...]

  • Margot Robbie poses at the launch

    Margot Robbie in Talks to Executive Produce, Star in Comedy 'Fools Day'

    Margot Robbie is in negotiations to executive produce and star as a fourth-grade teacher in New Line’s comedy “Fools Day.” New Line has acquired Cody Blue Snider’s short film of the same name to adapt into the feature project. Snider, who co-wrote and directed the short, will direct the full-length feature from a script he [...]

  • M Night Shyamalan'Glass' film premiere, Arrivals,

    M. Night Shyamalan Sets Two New Films at Universal

    M. Night Shyamalan will write and direct two new movies at Universal Pictures, the studio announced Monday. The currently untitled thrillers will be released in theaters on Feb. 26, 2021 and Feb. 17, 2023, respectively. “M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” [...]

  • La Llorona

    Venice Film Review: 'La Llorona'

    Guatamalan writer-director Jayro Bustamante had a dream debut with “Ixcanul” in 2015: The richly textured folk drama premiered in Competition at Berlin and won him the Alfred Bauer Prize, before going on to healthy international arthouse exposure. So it’s surprising that Bustamante’s subsequent work, while amply delivering on his first feature’s promise, has been comparatively [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content