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Come Find Me

Come Fine Me is an award winning short narrative of Berlin Art Film Festival. The film is about a sensitive five-year-old girl who searches for comfort and ballast when a tragic event engulfs her family in grief. In a futile search for support, she drifts into a world of fantasy.

The film is directed by Nela Wagman. She is also the writer and the editor of the film. Nela wrote, directed and starred in the short film That Was Delicious, which screens this season at the Manhattan Film Festival, the Golden Door International Film Festival, YoFiFest Yonkers Film Festival, NY Indie Theatre Film Festival, Oregon Short Film Festival, Simply Indie Film Festival and Austin Micro Short Film Festival. Her short film Magnetism, starring Isabel Keating and Chris Ceraso, screened at the Cleveland Film Festival, Jerusalem International Film Festival, Filmfest Dresden, among others.

Nela’s NYC theater directing credits include the OBIE-winning play My Left Breast by Susan Miller. As Founding Artistic Director of the award-winning Watermark Theater, Nela created and curated the WordFire Festival of Solo Performance, and has directed and developed plays, films and solo works in Manhattan, and at regional theaters across the United States. Nela earned her MFA in Filmmaking from the City College of New York in May 2020. Director Statement I made Come Find Me to explore the vulnerable moment in a child’s life, when an emerging sense of agency collides with isolation, and loss. I wanted to examine a family that seems to function well, to enjoy every good fortune, but falters in the face of tragedy . Five-year-old Sophia’s life transforms in an afternoon, from a world of endless possibility to a confusion of loss and loneliness. At this age a child stands at the very emergence of her sense of self, where pleasure and beauty are all within reach, and experiences are waiting to be identified and collected. Sophia inhabits a world of vivid color and possibility. When tragedy strikes, the audience will actually see that color drain away, as Sophia struggles to make sense of the crushing sadness that engulfs her family and leaves her stranded and alone. What can a child make of this? With her newfound sense of agency, the logical conclusion to a five-year-old is that this agency is the cause. With the absence of input to the contrary, and left to her own devices, Sophia accepts her isolation as deserved, but devastating, and enters a comforting fantasy. The film shows us a slice of her life before, and several episodes in the year following the tragic event. Sophia seeks the reassurance of her mother’s presence, but instead finds a grief-stricken void, followed by a resolution to move on. With a nagging worry that perhaps she is somehow to blame, she tries to help her mother heal, quietly hoping for support. She receives none; she must find her own way, and her own comfort. Themes of Feminism and Childhood Psychological Trauma: Come Find Me takes a close and subtle look at the emergence and development of a female identity at its earliest stages. The emergence of a female identity relies heavily on the mother-daughter bond; we witness the fault lines in this essential bond in the film, and later the resulting psychological devastation to the child. These prevalent issues of nascent depression, and identity formation in the early lives of children, are rarely given public voice in film or literature.

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