A Bird with No Legs
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Selection 2019

A Bird with No Legs

Directed by Nick Cinelli
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ESMA Excentris

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A Bird With No Legs - Nick Cinelli
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Theo plays his saxophone to lead his broken father inside a magical song. Theo’s goal- to help James overcome his grief.

The seed of this idea is actually from my father- he had come up with a story using music as a way of communicating between eras. I took that seed and worked with my screenwriter and composer hone in on a story focussing specifically on a father and son’s relationship, and their different abilities to cope with loss and express emotions. I’m very interested in both men’s emotional relationships with themselves and each other, as well as their ability to communicate with each other. In this family, we pushed the idea of a father and son not able to communicate with words, but instead with music . We thought jazz worked well because improvisation is really a form of communicating. When you’re in sync it sounds harmonious, like Theo, and when you’re out of sync it’s dissonant, like James. Their mother, Emma, then fills out the metaphor of the jazz trio. With my cinematographer and production designer, we pushed the aesthetic of the world to really embrace jazz music as not just the content, but the setting. Hopefully this story resonates beyond the puppets on screen, and allows the viewer to really assess into their own emotional outlets.

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Nicolas is a multi-faceted filmmaker from San Francisco. Graduating with a BA in Photography and Studio Art from the Claremont Colleges outside of Los Angeles, he went on to work in camera and art departments on an array of film, commercial, and music video projects in LA. Because of his experience in different aspects of filmmaking, he was confident to try his hand at stop-motion animation. He just completed a masters in Directing Animation at the National Film and Television School outside of London. Although focussed on stop-motion, he has also used his understanding of set design and photography, in coordination with animation, to create projects that seamlessly flow between techniques.

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ESMA Excentris

The New Dates September 17th-19th, 2023