Directed by Jacquile Kambo
Arty, a faceless and well dressed man gets ready for his date until he meets his younger self who makes things complicated.
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Jacquile Singh Kambo is an award winning Director and Writer for “Help Wanted” (2016) focusing on South Asian gang violence. Fascinated with film noir and drama, he has written and directed his first animated film, “Embrace” (2022) , focusing on men and mental health and vulnerability with the inner wounded child. He hopes the film will bring attention to mental health awareness as well as the blend of using animation to talk about issues . His passion for storytelling drives him to build connections and change perspectives. Jacquile hopes to expand his achievements into writing and directing feature films.
Mental health effects many people, and at some point in their life have come across many internal battles on their life journeys.
For me, I have had many aspects of my life affected by mental health one way or another. The idea of the facade self, the no faceless, the need to feel like a somebody – were all big pillars I personally dealt with growing up, especially in my adult life. From the dating world, to the social media world – it feels like different masks are worn only to make us feel faceless, feeling numb or a no body. For me personally, it made me feel like a lost identity among everything that is going on in this crazy world. Out of touch, and out of life.
Over a span of eight long years, the idea has finally come to fruition and with the help of the animation medium, we were able to bring the vision to life. From rewrites, to redrafts, from changing characters and implementing themes that simply did not work – we finally dug within ourselves to reach for that answer. Our story is about Self – love, and how we must embrace the soul, the child, the person within us. To be comfortable in our own skin, and to re align ourselves. Only then, perhaps we can fully understand others – and have the vision of empathy for others.
Inspirations from the genres of film noir, the silent film era, surrealism and the works of Christopher Nolan and David Lynch, we were able to articulate something far more special than I have ever realized. This was more than just a mental health piece for simply educational purposes. This was a full classical narrative from beginning to end. And we want to share it with the world.
It is not often the words mental health and men and vulnerability is discussed under the same umbrella. Especially with growing hyper masculinity, and the likes of social media where facades are put up and the vulnerable parts of ourselves aren’t as expressed. It is here where I truly want to encourage men to look within themselves, and allowed to be vulnerable to themselves. Perhaps this is an important step to better ourselves on our journey, to have successes (whatever success means to us), and to enlighten and lift those around us. The first step should always begin with us.