In the journey of grief, we visit forgotten memories and lost places. Haunted by the shadow of our loved ones, we realize their light subsist in the dark.

Romain Le Guillerm‘s “Yvonna” offers a mesmerizing exploration of grief, memory, and the ethereal nature of existence. Through stunning animation and experimental storytelling, the film takes audiences on a poignant journey into the depths of loss and longing. As the protagonist grapples with the haunting presence of a loved one’s shadow, “Yvonna” delves into the profound realization that their light persists even in the darkest recesses of the mind.

Le Guillerm’s visionary approach to sci-fi animation captivates viewers with its evocative visuals and emotive storytelling. “Yvonna” transcends traditional narrative boundaries, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in a surreal landscape where past and present converge. With its exploration of forgotten memories and lost places, the film offers a profound meditation on the enduring power of love and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of grief.

“Yvonne” explores the journey of grief and the realization that the light of our loved ones persists in the darkness. What inspired you to delve into this theme, and how did you approach visualizing the concept of memory and loss in the film?

I wanted to approach grief visually and as a blurry emotion rather than a concrete storyline. More about the overall mood of losing someone, and the different states and emotions we experience.

As a Senior VFX artist with experience in the cinema industry, how did your background influence the visual style and techniques used in “Yvonne”? Can you discuss any specific cinematic influences or artistic inspirations that informed the film’s aesthetic?

I took a lot of inspiration from photography, dark romanticism, the Noir style, Chiaroscuro and also feminine demon figures especially witches representations in diverse mediums. Cinema wise, contemplative, non-narrative movies are always my main inspirations.

The film is described as experimental and combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, and animation. How did you approach blending these different genres to create a cohesive and evocative narrative, and what challenges did you encounter in balancing the various elements?

I really enjoy when movies mix genres and break barriers between those categories. It can be as simple as having a Space planet shot in a medieval story film. Or an old tribal soundtrack in a scifi movie. I think everything can be held together through a coherent style and mood. The hardest part was trying to escape the very “CG” look from 3d softwares and go more into “Photography” visuals, I learned a lot through that.

You worked on high-profile projects such as “Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” How did your experience in the cinema industry inform your approach to directing “Yvonne,” and what insights did you bring from your work on blockbuster films to the world of short filmmaking?

I use the same techniques and softwares as my professional work. Seeing big scale production from the inside helped me to be more efficient at completing these projects.

“Yvonne” is preceded by the short film “Aniara,” which was previously featured on Film Shortage. Can you discuss any thematic or stylistic connections between the two films, and how does “Yvonne” build upon or diverge from the themes explored in “Aniara”?

Aniara was honestly more of a test for me to see if I was able to complete a full short film. Yvonna is really the first time I try to dive into personal themes. The similar style being more an unconscious expression of my visual taste than really a choice ^^

What role does animation play in enhancing the narrative and emotional impact of “Yvonne”?

Animation gives you full control of every aspect of the final image. It allows me to go visually where I couldn’t go using practical ways. Even if for some specific shots it would have been way easier to film it.

“Yvonne” is described as a journey through grief. How do you envision the film resonating with audiences who have experienced loss, and what message or takeaway do you hope viewers will find in the film’s exploration of grief and remembrance?

That grief is a chaotic journey, but as dark as it gets, the end is always some kind of peace and acceptance. We are all more resilient than we think in these moments, and the mind always finds his way to a positive outcome. Despite having a very dark tonality, I hope viewers can see this short has a hidden positive heart !