Yesterday, I wrote an item about the filmmaker Angel Kristi Williams’ crowd fundraising campaign for her new film project Charlotte (HERE) and I mentioned her previous short film, The Christmas Tree.
Having seen the film before, I still find it to be a quietly powerful, poignant, yet understated film about a father spending the day with his daughter who wants to do the right thing, yet circumstances come in the way.
Ms Williams really has a keen eye for detail and subtle nuances, along with a great eye for locations. This is a Chicago that you never see on films and TV, far away from the usual North Michigan Ave or north side slickness.
The filmmaker says that her relationship with her father was the inspiration for her film:
"When he died suddenly in 2001 I was a freshman in college. I never really had time to grieve because life kept moving but I knew I wanted to write something in his honor. Many years later that love manifested itself in The Christmas Tree."
She adds that the film is very special to her because “at the heart of the story is an unbreakable bond between a father and daughter but they also have a friendship because she's so mature.”
And she further added that it was “magical” how the film came together, because:
“We were one week from production and hadn't cast the father when my producer Mel Jones sent me an iPhone video of Ka'ramuu Kush reading a scene. I knew he was perfect but we were shooting in Chicago, where I was studying film, and he lived in LA. I wasn't sure it would happen. A day later he called me and said if you can find a way to fly me to Chicago, I'll do it. He flew in at 6am on the morning of shoot day 1 and came immediately to set. Crazy how the stars align like that.”
The film stars S&A Black Filmmaker Challenge winner Ka'ramuu Kush.
Take a look for yourself: