Kesi, Directed by Daniel Maggio (California) - On the eve of her 21st birthday, Kesi and her band of stuffed animals travel back home for her alcoholic Mother's funeral. My Mom is the reason I started making movies, she gave me the courage to see it through. When I was 17, I wrote my first feature screenplay and she simply said, "You have to make it." She even agreed to play a main character, to help out with the production. After shooting one scene with her, it was clear she had been drinking before hand. I took her aside and said she couldn't do that and it was disrespectful to the other actors. She showed up sober (I think) everyday after that, knew all her lines and was amazing. I couldn't have done it without her and wouldn't still be making movies today if it weren't for her. In 2018, she died of complications due to alcoholic-induced cirrhosis of the liver. It seemed like making a film was the only way to honor her life and make sense of her death. Growing up, my Mom's nickname was "Kesi." In the film "Kesi," the deceased Mother character IS my Mother. We used her name, likeness, cause of death, hobbies, impressive number of ex-husbands, possessions and even her real ashes. This is her final appearance in one my films.

Oregon Short Film Festival - Winter 2021 Official Selection

 

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