With the world facing catastrophe, Hux struggles to connect with others through the isolating veil of her autism.
Director: Mageina Tovah
Producer: Mageina Tovah
Writer: Mageina Tovah
About the writer, director, producer and editor Mageina Tovah:
Mageina wrote, directed, edited, produced and stars in the award winning short film Hux. She is known for her acting work in television and film, including American Horror Story, You're the Worst, Scandal, The Magicians, and the Spider-man films. Mageina performed for over a decade with renowned Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury and his Pandemonium Theatre Company. Mageina is also a visual artist.
Mageina Tovah as Hux
Harry Dean Stanton as Grandpa
Where is HUX playing next? After winning Best Dramatic Short Film at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, and the Platinum Remi Award at the 49th Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, Hux will have its international premiere at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival. Hux has festival screenings coming up across the world, information can be found at www.HuxFilm.com.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): All of the above!
Funders: Kickstarter and Self-Financed
Congratulations! Why did you make HUX?
There is a power that exists in film and television, to take an underrepresented or misunderstood segment of the population, and to present to the larger population our common, shared humanity. A filmmaker can take a human experience that in society can be easily misinterpreted, and through art and entertainment make that experience relatable and understandable, and consequently harder to ignore, abuse, or stereotype.
Hux is a young woman on the autism spectrum. She views everything through a veil of overwhelming stimuli and confusing interactions, but she is brave, and she strives to become the prosocial person she longs to be.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Hux is an interesting, unique point of view of society, and society in crisis. This project brought together some wonderful artists. Harry Dean Stanton, (Paris, Texas, Alien, Big Love) plays Hux’s Grandpa. Charlie Lieberman, (ASC, Heroes, Joan of Arcadia) was our director of photography. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent of the band Shovels and Rope gifted us with the use of their beautiful song Lay Low from the album O’ Be Joyful.
Hux was written, directed, edited and produced by a woman, and the main character is on the autism spectrum. It is time to support women filmmakers, and work that celebrates diversity.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Most of us, at some time in our lives, have felt awkward, unsure, or out of place in a social situation. For Hux, social situations are debilitating. But like a true hero, Hux works hard to push beyond her boundaries, to grow and move forward. In the end, Hux is brought face to face with all that she has been striving toward, and who of us hasn’t wondered how we might fare, should we be forced to face ultimate crisis?
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Early during the creation of the character of Hux, I would use my parents and sister- two psychiatrists and a pediatric physical therapist- as sounding boards. I was describing Hux’s characteristics, when my mother diagnosed Hux as being on the autism spectrum. From there, Hux blossomed.
A little further along in the story development, a mutual friend of Harry Dean Stanton’s suggested that I write a role for Harry. So of course I did! The role of Hux’s Grandpa is so important and so gently and beautifully performed by Harry Dean, I can’t imagine the film without him.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Hux has won awards and screened at festivals across the world, and has many more festival screenings coming up. We are grateful to have received strong support from the autism community. We are excited to have had a lot of interest in turning Hux into a feature film.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It has been wonderfully encouraging to hear from so many people who are happy to see a character outside the mainstream fare of television and film. When you reinterpret an idea over and over again- as writer, then as an actor and director, then as an editor, and then you have to turn that idea into a 25 word summary and a longline and a tagline, you can lose perspective on the idea. There were times during it all that I really had no idea anymore what people would get out of seeing the film. I’m so glad people find Hux and her journey compelling and engaging, and that it resonates with neurotypical audiences.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
During my research for Hux, I heard many people with autism talk about wanting stimming- the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or repetitive movement of objects as a calming and protective response to being overly sensitive- and meltdowns- which can be a loss of control in response to stimuli becoming overwhelming- to be better understood by the general public, rather than being labeled as "strange”, ”difficult", or that they were ”acting out". Hux shows a young woman stimming in response to a caustic, overwhelming world. I hope that Hux helps to expose the true reasons for this type of behavior, and that it can become normalized and understood.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
The next step for Hux is a feature length film. We are looking for anyone who can facilitate that process!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like for this film to have?
I hope Hux gives audiences a chance to broaden their understanding of the human experience while finding the story interesting and entertaining, and that it leaves audiences wanting to see what happens next.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What can neurotypical society do to better understand and accept behavior that is out of the normative realm? How can we become a more inclusive society?
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Mageina is in pre-production on the feature film of Hux. As an actor, Mageina will be returning for a second season on an episodic she cannot yet name! As a visual artist, Mageina will be donating her artwork for the third year to the third annual More Than a Cone animal cause fundraiser, sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society www.MoreThanACone.com
You can keep up to date on Mageina’s work, including her work as a visual artist, at www.MageinaTovah.com
Would you like to add anything else?
You can follow Hux and Mageina Tovah online!
Hux on social media #HuxFilm: Website: www.HuxFilm.com
Facebook: @Hux https://www.facebook.com/HuxFilm/?ref=hl
Twitter: @HuxFilm https://twitter.com/HuxFilm
Instagram: @HuxFilm https://www.instagram.com/huxfilm/
Mageina on social media: Website: www.MageinaTovah.com
Facebook: @Mageina Tovah https://www.facebook.com/Mageina-Tovah-150683084159/
Twitter: @Mageina https://twitter.com/Mageina
Instagram: @Mageina https://www.instagram.com/mageina/
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. 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