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Femme Filmmakers Festival Review: The Diver (Daniela De Lange)

This quirky short animated film is about a young women who is insecure and self-conscious about her passion for diving. What the diver does, and what she loves, are two separate things in her life. She loves diving, but in order to pursue her passion, she will need self-belief, perseverance, and a deep emotional investment.

Her lack of self-confidence leads her to do what she loves in isolation. The short film was written and directed by Daniela De Lange, illustrations are by Fran Labuschagne, animation by De Lange and music by Matthew Dickinson.

The Diver

The Diver represents how we put the things we love on hold, because we are so consumed by what we do. It’s a story that is all too familiar with many women who are left self-conscious, by the fact they don’t match society’s ideals of the dream woman. More often than not, there is a pressure on women to confirm to appearing a certain way, they are expected to act, behave and look a certain way.

The character of the diver is relatable; because she simply wants to enjoy herself, and embrace her passion. But feels too embarrassed to perform in public. One can assumed that the majority of viewers have encountered this situation, and have done our best to avoid attention.

The simple animation, with its emphasis on primary colours, such as red, blue, and white, make for a delightful appearance. It may be simple, but it’s powerful and easy to view. The contrast of colours make the images pop out of the screen, even if you’re not a fan of animation, you can’t help but find your eyes drawn to the screen. The movement of the diver’s actions as she quickly tip toes towards the diving board, is wonderfully comical and graceful at the same time.

The Diver

Each sound, from her feet squeaky across the floor, to the sound of her putting on her swimming cap, is heightened and used to great effect. The score helps to build tension, as the diver arrives at the top of the diving board, and peers down at the pool underneath, debating whether or not to jump. This is truly edge of your seat stuff, and the question is whether she can let go, and to embrace who she truly is.

There’s a charm to The Diver, and with its positive message of ‘taking a leap and a risk’, and not to shy away from your passion. It is a film that works on so many levels. It’s a shame that the film’s runtime is two minutes and fifteen seconds, because it leaves you wanting more.

It’s a film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, due to its simplicity and charming animation. The Diver made a splash at the Femme Filmmakers Festival, will you take the plunge and watch it?

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