Winners announced for Rookie Awards 2021
Heartstrings
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Heartstrings

by erindonahueart on 1 Jun 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Heartstrings is a short 3D-animated drama that centers around an Irish young woman named Ailidh who immigrated to New York City in 1910 with little belongings except for her father’s old violin - Ailidh is surprised to find that by playing the violin just like in her memories she’s able to bring her father back to her.

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Heartstrings is a short 3D-animated drama that centers around an Irish young woman named Ailidh who immigrated to New York City in 1910 with little belongings except for her father’s old violin - Ailidh is surprised to find that by playing the violin just like in her memories she’s able to bring her father back to her for one final goodbye, even if only for a moment. I pitched the premise for this story virtually from my childhood bedroom in Ohio to SCAD's chairs of animation in spring 2020, in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to tell a story about connection with a hopeful tone, that reminds us that those who we leave behind are never really gone. Those types of stories resonate the most with me - They remain in our hearts and memories forever. As the descendant of Irish immigrants on both sides of my family, I had a personal tie to this story and I felt like it was a way to pay homage to those who came before me and paved the way for me to follow my dreams today. I also intended for our protagonist to be a strong woman who takes risks and supports herself in an oppressive environment, as well as for there to be a magical element present throughout. I am so happy and proud of my team and our hard work on what was largely a virtual production from start to finish, and I cannot thank them enough for the long hours put into the film in the midst of a pandemic. This year was anything but conventional, but we have all adapted successfully to create an emotional story that truly tugs at the heartstrings.

SYNOPSIS 

Heartstrings tells the story of Ailidh, a young Irish woman who immigrated to New York City in 1910 with little belongings except for her father's old violin. Ailidh comes home from a long day of performing in the streets of Hell's kitchen with a broken string, discouraged, and covered in rain. Although she is on the verge of giving up on her new life in the United States, she is surprised to find that by playing her father's violin that she hadn't had the heart to touch since her journey began, she is able to bring him back to her for one final goodbye. Though the encounter with her father is short-lived, it gives Ailidh the encouragement she needs to continue to follow her dreams of becoming a performer and she is left with a newfound confidence that she will be okay in her new life. Heartstrings was written and directed by Erin Donahue at the Savannah College of Art and Design with a talented team of eleven artists with diverse backgrounds and experiences, two sound designers, and a score by Miles Kredich.


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