Warmth by Nathania Zaini is the only stop-motion submission this year, and it absolutely stands out. The lovable puppets convey such tenderness in her story, poetically narrated to follow someone’s repeated encounters with an old homeless man.
Zaini’s story is, above all else, humanizing. Probably the most compelling aspect of her short film is how insightful it is towards those who are all too often disregarded by society. It speaks to the many powers of caring for others, whether that be through food, or just a connection through words. No act is too small when showing those around you that you see them.
This film displays a splendid mix of mediums, briefly dipping into a chalk-drawing style animation when the voice-over contemplates the old man’s past. In this way, the filmmaker differentiates anxieties versus real-life actions someone can do to change the world around them for the better. Oftentimes, people get caught in the middle of those two worlds and do nothing to show one another that they care. It is truly so heartwarming to see an idealized version of how many of our everyday encounters could play out if we were to only reach out and try.
Warmth is visually very beautiful and it is clear to see how much hard work and dedication was put into bringing this film to life. Directed by Nathania, and written by Nathania and Randolph Zaini, it is clear that this team of creatives has a distinct voice in an up-and-coming age of diverse filmmakers and I would absolutely recommend them as ones to watch.
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