Etymology follows Catherine and her daughter Millie during the build-up to an important spelling bee. But as preparations gather pace, so does the pressure, and soon the veil of perfection begins to slip.
Interview with Director Maria McIndoo
Why did you make Etymology?
Etymology presented an opportunity to explore the complex relationship between a mother and her daughter, all the while exploring the complex interplay of social pressures and personal aspirations.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
In any well told story, there’s an inflection point where the audience identifies with the main character, and is allowed to go through that journey with them. If we’ve done our job as filmmakers, then people will hopefully join our characters as they navigate their own struggles.
What led you to this story?
The film came from the idea of subverting stereotypes, and trying to actively show that women are allowed to be flawed both onscreen and in real life.
Is this a personal or universal story for you?
Both. Whichever way you dice it, trying to handle the incongruous nature of ourselves and how the world sees us, that’s a quiet secret we’re all trying to wrestle with.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Lots of wonderful, positive things. We’re very lucky to have seen the film go over so well, and are now just excited for it to play at festivals.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Surprised, certainly, but challenged? Not particularly. Again, the agenda of this film is simple: trying to navigate yourself via the expectations of others is a complicated mess.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
We just want to let people know the film is on its way!
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Primarily, we’re interested in finding a festival that will allow us to be among a community of wonderful filmmakers.
What type of impact would you like this film to have?
To find a connection with people, and to open up the idea that it’s OK to talk about when things are difficult.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Are we putting too much on ourselves, and subsequently those we love?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The joy of this film has truly come from working with a brilliant group of actors, and being supported by a wonderful crew. Really, the film belongs to them as it does the audience.
What next for you? What films are you developing or directing?
Everyone involved has several plates spinning, with both individual films coming to fruition and collaborative projects taking shape.