Morality is distorted during a boy's hunt for a wanted beast.
Interview with Writer/Director/Editor/Animator Karim Dakkon
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Before getting into filmmaking, I was fascinated with painting. I wanted to see my imagination; observe it, prove it, and I wanted it to have a more physical relevance to my life. FIlmmaking definitely does that for me, but I wanted to combine painting and movement. So I choose to do an animation. The story itself is more a simple canvas to explore form, much like I see and go about life.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Besides the data moshing, there isn’t much modern influence on this animation. It is a completely hand-drawn 2D animation on the backdrop of hand painted watercolor backgrounds with a hint of modern glitch art. I think you will be in for a style that you haven’t seen before. Although the story is simple, the message is compelling and ambiguous, so it will stay in your thoughts for a while. Its aimed to be a dichotic experience of beautiful sound design and visuals guiding a disturbing and grotesque plot.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I don’t want to give anything away but the theme is centered around nature and its moral indifference. I used a bear and a boy, both symbolizing innocence. I wanted to show that nature has no obligation to justify itself because I think too many people create this narrative that nature has no intent to harm us and that it’s all love. And sometimes I feel that some people only respect it because of this fallacy. A wild animal does not care about you, but you should care about it. And you should do so with the realization that it is not going through some moral dilemma like us humans, and could maybe randomly kill you, but you should still love it and want nothing, even mercy, in return.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
When I first wrote the script, I didn’t have a vulture character. I felt that I needed more breath in my film, so I introduced it. I choose a vulture because I wanted to provide a perspective where the audience can look down at the story; to disconnect them for a bit and take time to enjoy the watercolors. Another thing that changed was my drawing style. It took two years to complete this film, and as a result, the style looks a little schizophrenic, but I like it.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Everyone that has seen it enjoyed it. Some people find the ending funny, and most are satisfied with how it turns out for the boy. The conversation always concludes with the form of the film, and I’m glad that people appreciate the process as much as they want to know more about the meaning.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
From what I can tell, not many people get the motives behind the experimentation of the film until they ask. This film damaged me quite a bit, I’ve endured back, hand, and head pain. Messed up my circadian rhythm, and fell into depression, and I tried showing it in this film by using destructive techniques. The pain apparently doesn’t come across, or it’s so obvious that people feel weird to bring it up. But I’m surprised how many people just accept it and aren’t frightened.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I want this film to find its audience. It doesn’t have a targeted demographic and I am afraid it is crippled by that. I just want it to have a chance with everyone; show people something that stands out. My favorite films and animations are usually the more obscure ones, and I always have to search for those. But it would be nice if someone out there is looking for something different and stumbles upon Hanging Bear.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I need a producer to handle all the distribution and research that goes into finding fitting festivals. I also need distributors that know where this film would do well, and journalists to portray the messages I present with this film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want people to understand that visual storytelling doesn’t always have to be this illusion of reality. This logic is already precedent in other mediums and is accepted, but with film/animation, it’s popular to replicate life. I want to perpetuate the anti-illusionist approach to art, and show that the contrary is not exclusive to a comprehensible story.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What's the point of the data moshing? How did you make this?
Would you like to add anything else?
Don't be a slave to your passion. There's a whole world out there, and if your too busy creating all the time to experience, you might as well be too busy working like everyone else. Creating should make you feel free, and the best way to progress is to learn to let go.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Ben Beeler is working for big TV networks in Atlanta, and still writing all the time. I am currently making a documentary about prison art, and I am the DP on a feature coming up in the summer called Some Southern Waters.
Interview: April 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Morality is distorted during a boy's hunt for a wanted beast.
Director: Karim Dakkon
Producer: Benjamin Beeler
Writer: Karim Dakkon
About the writer, director and producer:
KARIM DAKKON graduated from UCF with a BFA in Film and now works as a videographer and editor in West Palm Beach Florida. He has continued making passion projects, two of which are a feature-length verite documentary, and a feature narrative that he is currently shooting.
BENJAMIN BEELER is a 23-year old filmmaker who recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.F.A. in Film. He has since moved to Atlanta, Georgia to begin working in the film industry. Ben has worked on shows such as Doctor Sleep and The Walking Dead credited to his name. In his spare time, he continues to create his own projects with the goal of becoming a writer/producer one day.
Looking for: distributors, producers
Facebook: Karim Dakkon
Hashtags used: #hangingbear #stopbearhunting #antitrophyhunting #2danimation #westpalmbeach #palmbeachfilm #ucffilm
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? You can watch it at the Florida Film Festival on April 21 at 2:30pm at the Regal Winter Park Village in Orlando Florida.