Abigail (Yana Gold) has suffered a devastating loss. In the midst of her grieving she decides to tear down her Christmas tree, a sad reminder for her. This nine minute film quietly explores the isolation that many women feel after having suffered pregnancy loss. The film is co-written by Yana Gold and Jonathan Popalis, directed by Jonathan Popalis and masterfully shot by cinematographer Hadi Azer.
"We wanted to make Tannenbaum because it was a beautiful way to tell a story about that kind of loss in a very real and honest way, that was as accurate as possible about the obscure and private emotional pain a woman goes through in the wake of such a personal death," said Yana.
Yana says that although she has never personally experienced this form of loss before she was able to get herself prepared for the role and the emotion required by reading accounts of women who have suffered pregnancy loss. From an archive generously provided by the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital - Yana and Johnathan sat and read through every single story of each woman's own personal grief.
"I was very emotional reading these, like most people I never had a clear idea of what it really meant to be pregnant and then lose the baby. Reading these honest and sometimes heartbreaking stories gave me enough insight to go forth and put all of the pain these women felt into the character," said Yana.
Tannenbaum made its world premiere at The St. Alban's film festival in the UK. St.Alban's is a small town just north of London with a rich cinematic history and the hometown of the late Stanley Kubrick, survived by his wife Christiane Kubrick, she is now one of the patrons and huge supporters of the festival. St.Alban's nominated Yana Gold in the category of Best Actor for her performance. Tannenbaum then went on to screen at The Prague Independent Film Festival where is was nominated for Best Short Film. Then making its North American Premiere at The Blackbird Film Festival in upstate New York, the film received three nominations: Best of World Cinema, Best of Fest and Best Lead Actress award for Yana Gold.
"We have since partnered with the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto in the hopes of using Tannenbaum as a way to open a much needed conversation about the kind of loss that Abigail goes through. So that women like her need never have to suffer in silence," said the filmmakers.
The film will now become available to watch online at www.filmshortage.com - it has been selected as their top daily picks and coincidentally will premiere on October 15th, 2019, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Still of Yana Gold taken by T.M Reid