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This short film will make you want to stay at home instead of taking a vacation

We weren’t planning on getting out of bed anyway.

For her 2018 graduation film at the Estonian Academy of Arts, animator Nata Metlukh created a short story that shows the perils of going on vacation abroad, as well as the appeal of simply staying at home.

The animated short, called Pura Vida, tells the tale of four friends from New York on an idyllic (or so it seems) trip in Costa Rica. On their dream getaway, they quickly realise that not everything is as pleasing as the postcards (and Instagram photos) would have them believe.

After finding themselves lost, sick, and unable to cope in their new environment, the group comes back to the Big Apple more appreciative of home.

✨ my newest film Pura Vida is online ✨ 🔗 link in bio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 🥁 sound&music @nicolasmartigne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 🎏 animation assistance @_jjuulliiaann . . . . . . . . . . . . #puravida #shortfilm #animation

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According to Metlukh, in the making of her film, she relied on an animation style that’s purposefully chaotic to match her storyline, as well as to provide a contrast between the settings of NYC and Costa Rica.

“In Pura Vida, I wanted to embrace digital-ness, without any imitations of traditional medium. I used rough lines, unfinished semi-abstract backgrounds, and abrupt snappy animation to emphasize that,” she told Lost At E Minor.

“I wanted to show the contrast between two different worlds of New York and Costa Rica, so the styles are different. New York is dark, dense, noisy, and overwhelming, with overlapping animation and sounds. And Costa Rica is kinda slow, simple and clean, mostly white with some splashes of colors.”

soon!

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We recently spoke to Metlukh to know more about her and her animated short, Pura Vida. Take a look:

Tell us a little bit about your background. How’d you get into filmmaking?

“Before getting into animation I worked as an editorial illustrator and it was a natural transition into films. I perceive illustrations as one-frame films with their plots and rhythm, but sometimes more frames are needed to tell the story.”

How would you describe your style?

“In Pura Vida, I wanted to embrace digital-ness, without any imitations of traditional medium. I used rough lines, unfinished semi-abstract backgrounds, and abrupt snappy animation to emphasize that.

“I wanted to show the contrast between two different worlds of New York and Costa Rica, so the styles are different. New York is dark, dense, noisy, and overwhelming, with overlapping animation and sounds. And Costa Rica is kinda slow, simple and clean, mostly white with some splashes of colors.”

slowly moving towards the end of the film production 🏁 #puravida #wip #taxi

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What was the inspiration for the film?

“The inspiration was my love for the big cities and urban environment. All the characters represent this, once they are in the wild, they get various issues and everything goes wrong. They become happy again only when they get back home to New York.”

Is there a message that the film is trying to tell its audience?

Pura Vida’s formal logline is ‘East or West, home is best”’, but I can’t say it’s a message for the audience. There’s no message, I make films just to entertain people.”

🦆 #puravida

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What are you working on next?

“I’m working on the next short film featuring immigration. It’s a very personal topic as this year will be a 10-year anniversary of my own immigration from Ukraine to the US.

“Although there was a lot of bureaucracy and struggles on the way, the film won’t be a personal drama or a review of the latest political situation.

“It will be an attempt to show the inner state and feelings of a person who had the courage to move to a totally different environment, but ended up in between the worlds, where it’s not possible to fit neither the old country, nor the new one. There will be shown the state of loneliness and detachment, within the comical situations.”

You can see more of Nata Metlukh’s work here.

In partnership with our friends at Glenmorangie, Lost At E Minor presents the second episode in the We Are The World We Create podcast series, dedicated to celebrating those people, and their exceptional creations, that help make the world a more interesting place. In this episode, Bigsy speaks to Masterchef contestant, Reynold Poernomo, and street artist Brad “Beastman” Eastman, and delves into why dessert is everyone’s favourite course and how being a street artist can change how you perceive the world. Listen now!
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