Short of the Week


This surreal, design-inspired film, blends live-action and animation to illustrate the emotions of new love and heartbreak.

We all know that of the relationships experienced throughout our lives, romantic entanglement can produce feelings of pure joy or despair that often leave us grasping for descriptions and defy objective explanation. Denis Kamioka’s (or CISMA as he’s better known) freaky short Handmade, starring Dan Nakagawa and Lovefoxxx (lead singer of Cansei de Ser Sexy), “makes use of unusual symbols to describe how one feels at the beginning and at the end of a relationship,” to not so much explain the experience in any sort coherent manner, but rather set the tones of heartfelt warmth and despondency that seem to bookend such endeavors.

A director and illustrator by trade, CISMA spent four years as a senior motion designer at Brazilian studio Lobo, which has through the years become unquestionably known as an unofficial finishing school for some of the finest creatives we have in the wild today, such as Guilherme Marcondes and Marcelo Garcia.

Made for around $6,000 and shot on the Arri SrIII super 16 using Zeiss 1.3 prime lenses, Handmade may be CISMA’s first move into the live action space, but exhibits his mastery of colour to dictate tone throughout, alongside animation effects which take us into the mind of our lovelorn lead. I also totally love the dual concepts of the hugging sweaters which literally wrap our protagonists in a loving embrace, balanced against a drink of sadness and rejection brewed from choice words taken from a Dear John letter.

As a side note, if you fell in love with the paper clip looking font Relava that makes up Handmade’s title, CISMA has made it available to buy via his site for your writing pleasure.

MarBelle has a strange compulsion to watch as many films as he can get his hands on and find jobs that give him a legitimate excuse to drill filmmakers about their work. Directors Notes is the latest incarnation of this disorder and so much cheaper than film school. Twitter: @MarBelle
  • Andrew S Allen

    Some very nice visuals present themselves here. The story is the same but now told in a very figurative yet literal way that seems more accessible than most experimental shorts about heartbreaking love.

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