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Thesis Mentor: Catya Plate
Media/Format: Stop-Motion Animation

Persephone is a mixed-media animated short film about a woman's experience with the death of her mother. The story shifts between Persephone’s past and present, showcasing the nostalgic memories of her close-knit mother-daughter relationship and her dark, empty present alone in her childhood home. The film focuses on the universal experience of loss and also the individual’s encounters with grief.

Persephone returns to her childhood home—a house that was once grand—after her mother’s funeral. As Demeter’s only heir, Persephone must now attend to both her mother’s estate and her ashes, which she carefully carries in a golden urn. While inside this old, decaying house, Persephone is caught in a kind of limbo, carrying out her mother’s wishes and carrying the weight of accepting her mother’s death. As Persephone struggles through this grief, nature and the forest surrounding this old house will find a way to join Persephone and guide her toward redefining herself.

Alana “Lani” Corwin is an experimental animator based in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing from her background in theater, dance, illustration, and poetry, Alana’s animated work focuses on her connection to movement and poetic metaphor. In her storytelling practice, Alana uses traditional methods of 2D & stop-motion animation. To evoke a universal and global connection, Alana chooses to use expression, sound, movement, and color to tell her stories, while using minimal or no dialogue. In addition, Alana’s art is centered around her love of building imaginative worlds and puppets. She uses materials such as felting wool, organic matter, and recycled elements to create her stop-motion sets and characters. Her work focuses on mental health, social justice, and global sustainability and is her way of relating to the complex world around her.

Instagram: @lani.corwin
Website: alanacorwin.com


A Ruin’s Origin is an animated short prequel to my thesis film Persephone to give you, the audience, an intimate virtual experience with the playful, haunting world of this film. I invite you to observe the objects throughout the space, and the details that have remained in this ruin. You may be wondering why these things are here, and what is the origin of this place. All questions that will be answered in the film.

In the process video you will see the process behind creating the video with details of how it was built, animated, and filmed. I also discuss the recycled materials I used along with the roadblocks I faced and learned from while relocating to a new unfamiliar filming space. With this new space I was also able to experiment and grow as an animator and it would not have been possible without the amazing support from my boyfriend and his family.