The escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic from the first reported cases in China, to the spread of the virus across the globe over the course of few months, is vividly chronicled in “Mãe!” (Mom!), a new short film created in isolation by two artists, in two different hemispheres, united by two bonds: their childhood friendship and concern for the health and safety of their loved ones, miles away, back in their home country.
Brazilian-born actresses and content creators Luciana Faulhaber and Marcela Dias, first generation immigrant artists living in Los Angeles and Berlin respectively, found themselves turning to each other during the fast development of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the United States and Germany, they watched the distance quickly shorten as they shared the same sentiment for the safety of their families in Rio de Janeiro and the frustration of being isolated in a foreign country, away from their loved ones during the first massive global emergency in modern history.
“There was a feeling of powerlessness from watching a pandemic go from bad to worst, monitoring the response from governments across the world, including our home country, and think what it all meant for my parents’ safety in Brazil. Survival brings out the humanity in all of us,” Dias said.
“The situation made me think about how COVID-19 is impacting migrant individuals across the planet, and the multiple human stories that often become invisible due to the political drama that is also unfolding. As artists it is up to us to tell these stories,” Faulhaber said.
In response, Dias and Faulhaber co-wrote and filmed a story about two sisters from Rio de Janeiro, now living abroad, who engage in a series of video calls trying to trace their mother in Brazil, to ensure her safety. Using real life news footage, the short film simultaneously shows the progression of people’s disbelief of the danger of the virus, to the grim realization of a health crisis that is hitting everyone close to home.
“Mãe!” (12 mins.) is meant to be a window into life, inspired by many stories of immigrants who have had to face the pandemic away from home. It is also an exploration of the new forms of film storytelling that have emerged during the pandemic, and a call to action to older relatives and everyone across the world, to stay home.
About Luciana Faulhaber
Luciana Faulhaber is an actress best known for Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Gotham, The Night Shift and Iron Man 3, among others. As a director, check out her short films “December,” “Homeless,” “Mãe!” and her latest horror feature “Don’t Look,” available on VOD. For more materials, follow her Instagram @lucianafaulhaberofficial.
About Marcela Dias:
Marcela Dias is an actress and singer who moved her career to Berlin in 2016. She can currently be seen on stage in “Fox and Safestay Hostel,” nominated for the 2020 Ikarus Prize. She is also a permanent ensemble member in the variety show “Papagei Allerlei.” More information can be found at www.marceladias.net.