Trill | Short Film of the Month

Short Film of the Month March 2023


By Christy Anna Wu with 7.2

drama · Short Films · english

‘Trill’ is a heartfelt portrayal of a moment in a girl’s life, a moment defined by self-doubt, uncertainty and the pursuit to overcome it all. The film is especially beautiful in the intimacy it brings to everything that this moment comes to stand for, while efficiently utilizing narratorial brevity all along.

The protagonist, a young woman, ruins a singing audition. After the disappointment, she comes home to a nagging mother who reminds her to focus on her academics more than anything else. She is not only left with the heartbreak of a failed audition, but also a resounding sense of isolation and loneliness in a space where there is little recognition of her talent and desires.

The developments portrayed thus are tied together by a single triumphant act in solitude, one where the girl’s voice is undiminished and invincible - whether only in her head or in the real world, that remains irrelevant and inconsequential. However, the might of it all, whether or not it is witnessed by another, exists within her, and it is indeed this sentiment that takes the film home in a complete manner.
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When I was growing up, I had terrible stage fright. I grew up learning to play classical piano and would participate in annual recitals. I had to glue myself to that sheet music because even if I knew the song and practiced it hundreds of times before, I'd forget because my fingers felt sticky, and my mind would go blank. Sometimes I'd flub the notes, so I'd have to restart the phrase and keep going. When I finished with that typical last sustained note, the supportive audience would clap. I'd go to sit back down.

My heart would slow immediately. And I felt miserable for not playing it perfectly. This would carry over later into future performances, public speaking situations, and of course, singing auditions.

For ‘Trill’, a relatively compact short, I wanted to lean into the reasons why I found my way into artistic expression in general, including filmmaking. Even by being new to the scene, being bad at something, and especially feeling like you don't have support from the closest people around you, there's a proverbial fire within you. I wanted Anna Huynh, the lead, to be that lead for the best reasons. A balanced mix of self: ambition, exploration, duty, defiance, and resilience. The bittersweet film ending may feel unsatisfying, but I would ask viewers to frame around the introspective "why".

In my work, attempting to evoke a series of emotions and the accompanying stories behind them has particularly helped me in my catharsis. I'm hoping that the point of view I bring to this field may resonate, inform, and encourage.
Christy Anna WuDirector, Trill