The Creative Drive of Hannah Logan Peterson, winner of The Spark 2.0 Short Film Showcase

Once I tell Hannah Logan Peterson that her short film, Daughter, moved me to tears, I’m not exaggerating. Chosen because the choice of The Spark 2.0—an initiative sponsored by Lexus and ELLE to showcase an original short film by a lady director—Daughter runs 4 minutes, but it surely reverberates with emotion, authenticity and gravitas. “That’s what I hoped this film would do,” said Peterson, whose goal was to create a reflective space where people might see themselves, and even perhaps meditate on navigate their world.

In only two scenes, the LA-based director and author captures snippets of strange life between a mother and daughter that the majority of us will recognize—especially after countless days of working from home throughout the pandemic. The evocative piece quietly shows us what Peterson calls a “mundane” moment or two, each day happenings that someway mean each nothing and all the pieces. “I desired to concentrate on our on a regular basis interactions with technology and the way we raise kind, thoughtful children in an increasingly digital world,” says Peterson. As a viewer, for me, the film dredged up feelings of contentedness, guilt, liberation, empowerment, joy and forgiveness abruptly. It jogged my memory that duality is what we live on a regular basis (and that’s okay) and underscored that being a mother requires a plentitude of hats. As Peterson shows, each chapeau is gorgeous and meaningful.

photo by Nadia Sarwar

Talking Tech

Tasked by Lexus and ELLE with contemplating female empowerment in addition to the connection between technology and humanity, Peterson says that she immediately imagined a visible dialogue between a mother and a daughter. “I spotted how much technology partners with motherhood,”she says, explaining that she desired to present technology as something positive, fluid, and female, not disruptive, destructive, or abrupt.

As Peterson (who is just not a mother, but is, as she said, “a daughter”) and I recount all of the wonderful ways technology helps us, she tells me that her sister is pregnant, and that half of her baby registry is made up of tech. We chat about how much technology, from breast pumps to tablets, has the aptitude to boost motherhood. “We are able to actually get something done that way,” I say, admitting to her that while one a part of the film woke up in me guilty memories of turning to technology for babysitting, the tip jogged my memory that I also was a wild and free mother— mother—in other moments, something that balanced out any reliance on technology I used to survive.

“It may be terrifying to put a lot trust in machines,” says Peterson. But, she makes it clear that there is no such thing as a right or incorrect—only contemplation. “It’s about coming to terms with ambiguity and ranging from there,” she says. Indeed, her short provides an area to take into consideration all things: each the benefit and the fears.

Driving Change

In crafting her story, Peterson considered each the sleek form and the socially conscious mission of the RZ, Lexus’ first fully electric automotive as metaphor. “I desired to ground this story in emotional reality because these days I even have been feeling that I don’t wish to escape a lot as I need to reckon with reality and learn to be a part of the change in our world,” she explains. The brand new RZ is just that—not merely a vehicle for transport, but a vehicle toward change. Because the paragon of innovation and luxury, the RZ is touted to be step one in Lexus’ mission to engineer all-electric vehicles in every segment globally, while maintaining the posh brand’s storied intuitive technology, reliability, unparalleled safety record, exquisite craftsmanship and sweetness. Within the vehicle’s development, Lexus placed people at the middle. The luxurious brand continually explores people interact with technology and with one another. Lexus, in addition to the filmmaker understand the humanity of change and inherent need for connection. So, it is smart that within the film, once we see the RZ transport the characters move together from one scene to a different, from home to dreamy nature, soulfulness, grounding—even redemption—we view it as a transparent symbol for a greater future.

hannah peterson

Hannah Peterson

Dreaming Together

Peterson’s film, a glimpse into a traditional afternoon, delivers us into the house of elegantly, but casually, clad Nadia, who sits at her computer ending up her workday in an uncluttered home—an aesthetic that mirrors her Lexus RZ. Peterson noted that chic/functional fashion played a task in how she envisioned Nadia; it was the starting block, together with the RZ, for the mood of the piece. Waiting for her mother, Nadia’s daughter, Momi patiently draws a horse on her tablet.

Nadia finishes her work, and surveys the assorted machines which have “cared” for Momi. We sense that she’s grateful for the role they’ve played, that they’ve supported her as she tried to construct a greater future for her and her daughter.

Tidying up, Nadia picks up the tablet and sees a horse, a big Appaloosa, in a meadow, illuminated by a sunset. It looks like an invite. Later, Nadia straps Momi safely into the RZ, which symbolizes their transportation to the opposite a part of their lives—on this case, the subsequent scene. The 2 quickly drive down a road right into a nature-rich landscape. Momi looks as much as the sky, through the RZ’s panoramic glass roof. On the open road, they appear bonded and playful, on a mission together.

They arrive at a meadow at sunset. Is it déjà vu? Out of the automotive Momi runs into the vastness, Nadia behind her. They stop once they come across an Appaloosa horse, identical to the one within the drawing. Nadia picks up Momi they usually approach the horse. Is it dream or reality? It doesn’t matter.

hannah peterson

photo by Nadia Sarwar

Hannah Peterson was named one in every of the highest 25 recent faces of Independent film by Filmmaker Magazine. She has a BA in Screen Studies from the Latest School and an MFA in Film Direction from California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts). Her work has screened at Sundance Film Festival, MoMA, REDCST, and Tribeca Film Festival, where she garnered the AGBO Fellowship for her short film East of the River.

The opposite women directors tapped by Lexus and ELLE to cover themes of female empowerment and the intersection of humanity and technology created outstanding video, as well. Don’t miss the work of the runner ups: Haohao Yan, Jillian Iscaro and Suha Araj.

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