With/In Vol I, a collection of shorts filmed on iPhones during the beginning stages of lockdown last year, premiered four of 13 short films on June 13 as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.
The four included: Leap written by With/In Executive Producer, Margaret Nagle, starring Sanaa Lathan who also made her directorial debut, Coco & Gigi, directed, written, and starring Rosie Perez with Justina Machado, Mother written by and starring Maya Singer alongside director Morgan Spencer and his wife, Rebecca Hall; and last but not least, Intersection starring Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Talia Balsam, directed and written by Bart Freundlich.
Before the screening, The Knocturnal got to catch up with some of the casts members on the red carpet as they described how their quarantine influenced their projects.
When asked to describe her quarantine in one word, Nagle admitted, “It was lonely!” Luckily, she actually wasn’t alone. “Sanaa was all by herself in COVID, just her and her dog. My dog had just died and out of that we created this story about a woman who’s very alone and receives a dog.”
For With/In producer Celine Rattray, quarantine was more bittersweet. She used two words to describe her time in isolation, “Challenging, but enriching.” Rattray used her time in quarantine to reach out to 13 families, giving them the chance to express, “some version of their experience quarantining.” “It was incredibly hard to get them made,” she shared, “but at the same time, something beautiful came out of them which are these short films that summarize the experience of 2020.”
In a Q&A after the screening moderated by journalist Alina Cho, Sanaa Lathan and Julianne Moore echoed Rattray’s sentiments. “I tired to say no, but I couldn’t escape him (her husband, Bart Freundlich),” Moore shared half-jokingly. Lathan also shared her uncertainty. “I was like I don’t know if we’re going to survive! Am I going to make a film?” Little did she know her experience with Leap would play a role in preparing her to direct her first feature film, On the Come Up, under Paramount Players.
“The goal was to show that we could still tell stories despite the challenges,” Rattray concluded. “No matter what was going on in the world during the pandemic, creativity overcomes the challenges.”