Sometime last year, a friend of mine recommended me videos to watch from the filmmaker, Anna Akana. After spending a lot
of time invested in her creative, unique and hilarious content, she easily became one of my favourite content creators on YouTube. So, who is she?
Anna Akana is known for her videos online, from comedic skits to honest vlogs to original short films. However, she has also pursued the art of stand-up comedy. Apart from that, she acts and has appeared in popular television shows such as Awkward (MTV) and The Fosters (ABC Family). These are only just a few of her many talents. Believe me, I can go on and on about how brilliant this lady is.
For this article, I will be highlighting her individualistic style, which is evident in her short films.
Genre: science fiction
In this film, Victoria Young, a “Miss Earth” beauty pageant winner is forcibly thrust into Galactic’s depopulation pageant. Because of an error, Victoria was sent to fight for the survival of Earth, when her twin sister, Arden, was meant to. At the depopulation pageant, representatives of different planets across the galaxy fight one another using their specialised skills. The defeated will have their planet destroyed and turned to smithereens. Victoria, lacking experience in training for the depopulation pageant, arrives frightened and scared. How will this beauty pageant winner fight for the survival of Earth?
Link to film: Miss Earth
A 911 dispatcher receives a terrifying call. When asked to walk her through the situation, the caller slowly unravels shocking details about the crime scene. The plot-twist at the end is enough to send shivers down your spine. Though only a 3-minute long short film, Anna Akana has made it very clear that she knows how to get her viewers’ hearts pounding in fear. I believe that Anna’s acting is this film is praise-worthy!
Link to film: Emergency Call
TRIGGER WARNING!: MENTAL ILLNESS // SCHIZOPHRENIA.
Anna Akana was motivated to create a film about mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, after researching on it for some time since February 2012. She was “endless intrigued and sympathetic to the mentally afflicted ever since.” This film follows the point of view of a girl with schizophrenia who confronts her hallucination. This particular film had a plot twist which was left open to interpretation, and left many viewers confused. However, many were grateful for Anna’s efforts in spreading awareness for mental health.
Link to film: Hallucination
TRIGGER WARNING!: MENTAL ILLNESS
What starts off as a seemingly innocent documentary, turns into a horrifying tragedy. An aspiring filmmaker, Alex, decides to make a documentary about her best friend, Maddie, and her post-college struggles. Focusing on how a big percentage of millennials remain unemployed after college, Alex films the story of how her best friend went from working at a crappy electronics store to “becoming” a part of the CIA. Her best friend, Maddie, gradually grows obsessed with the idea of working with the CIA and finds herself doing whatever she can to fulfil that desire. Maddie even quits her job as a cashier at the electronics store. Alex notices that this desire of Maddie’s was a sign that she was mentally ill. There are a lot more details of the film that I would not want to spoil so I suggest you watch this film that would most definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.
Link to film: Loose Ends
To conclude, I believe that after watching only 4 of her short films, you will be wowed by her talent in directing and writing. If you enjoyed her short films, you should definitely check out her vlogs as well to get a taste of her personality and humour!