During her journey to a new country, a girl loses her jar of lucky coins then finds one in a most unexpected place – a new short from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Siqi Song
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Directed by Siqi Song
“Following the success of her award-winning, Oscar-nominated film 妹妹 (Sister), Siqi Song returns to S/W with another short brimming with cultural insight, family traditions and of course, that recognisable stop-motion style. Where her previous film focused on what it was like to grow up with a sibling during the height of China’s One-Child Policy, her latest short 硬币(The Coin) centres around her family’s New Year’s Eve tradition and the comforting thought of home, when you’re far from it.
On Chinese New Year, finding the coin hidden in a dumpling (Jiaozi) brings good luck. In The Coin, we follow a girl and her jar of lucky coins as they leave home and journey to a new country. After leaving her collection of charmed currency on a train in her new homeland, the girl starts to suffer from unsettling feelings in her stomach, is this anxiety? Homesickness? Or something else?
“After moving to the United States a few years ago, I experienced all sorts of culture shocks”, Song explains as we discuss the inspiration behind The Coin. “With my mind experiencing the same digestive problems as my stomach, as it encounters the exotic food, I find myself looking for familiar food, in the hope that it will bring me back to the moment of comfort when I found the coin in it. This thought gave me the idea to use food as the visual representation of the story I want to convey, a story about trying to connect with the past in order to move on”.
Just shy of seven minutes in length, despite the plot appearing somewhat thin on surface level, The Coin manages to pack a lot into its tight run-time. Through a simple story of a young woman leaving her childhood home, Song manages to pepper her narrative with family history, cultural traditions, personal insight and relatable emotions. Again, there’s surprising depth for a tale of a girl and a jar of coins.
With the success of its narrative debatable (these things are always subjective), one thing that surely isn’t under question is the strength of the craft showcased in The Coin. Though we’ve seen this woolly stop-motion style several times before – Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels’ Oh Willy… feeling like the real prototype for the style – Song laces her aesthetic with enough individual flair (having the facial expressions of her characters added with hand-drawn animation really amplifies their reactions and emotions) and standout moments (the woolly soup and giant burger are particular favourites of mine) to make it her own.” – S/W Curator Rob Munday
Executive Producer: Kimberly Han
Executive Producers Film Independent: Valerie Castillo Martinez, Francisco Velasquez
Cinematographer: Bongani Mlambo
Music By Alexis Grapsas
Stop Motion Animators: Bob Blevins, Molly Mccandless, Siqi Song, Ian Timothy, Rich Zim
2D Animator: Ning Cheng
Voice: Anna Pan
Costume Designer: Qing Wang
Model Maker: Meaghan Ross
Set Fabricators: Shannon Hardison, Abigail Beasley, Brittany Ingram, Jeanette Lim, Diana Ward, Pia Whitehead
Post Production Supervisor: Sue-ellen Chitunya
Compositors: Quinn Noreyko, Kenneth Woodall, Shengjie Wu, Carlos Arandia
Additional 2D Animator: Thomas Teraoka
Story Advisor: Ruth Atkinson
Producing Advisor: Giulia Caruso
Directing Advisor: Aurora Guerrero
Cinematography Advisor: James Laxton, ASC
Editing Advisor: Alex O’Flinn
Violin/Viola: Maria Grigoryeva
Cello: Yoed Nir
Ukulele: Ioannis Markoulakis
Orchestrator: Tobin Pugash
Music Preparation: Bobby Brader
Sound Post Production Services Provided By FORMOSA GROUP
Supervising Sound Editors: Alex Nomick, Lon Bender
Sound Effects Editor: Kyle Bailey
Re-recording Mixer: Mitch Dorf
ADR Mixer: Chris Navarro C.A.S.
Sound Assistant: Pernell Salinas
Sound Producers: Erika Wunch, Kyle Seo, Jennifer Bowman
Digital Intermediate Provided By EFILM
Supervising Digital Colorist: Andre Rivas
DI Coordinator: Emma Escamilla
Production Assistant: Maria Vasquez
Set Stills Photographer: Charlie Murphy
Camera Courtesy: Camera Division
Lights Courtesy: Litegear
Grip And Electric Courtesy: Illumination Dynamics
Reproduced on this channel with the permission of the filmmakers.