GIFFONI50PLUS - 21.31 JULY 2021



Category: Edition 2021

For teenage Nola, home is the open road. Her self-reliant father is her anchor in a life of precarietà. The pair criss-cross the United States in a lovingly refurbished RV, making ends meet through odd jobs while relishing their independence. A shocking rupture, though, casts Nola out on her own. She makes her way to Albuquerque, New Mexico in search of a mother she never knew, only for her motorhome to break down unexpectedly. But after forging a bond with an auto body shop owner, Nola senses the possibility of mooring her ship in this storm.

Original Title The Short History of the Long Road
Category Official Competition
Section Generator +16
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 94'
Production Year 2020
Nationality USA
Directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy
Screenplay Ani Simon-Kennedy
Director of photography Cailin Yatsko
Editor Ron Dulin
Production Design Scott Christopher Clark
Costume Design Maria Bentfield
Make up Laramie Cooley
Music Morgan Kibby
Main cast Sabrina Carpenter
Steven Ogg
Maggie Siff
Jashaun St. John
Danny Trejo
Rusty Schwimmer
Jean Effron
Esodie Geiger
Bob Jesser
Produced by Brian Barnow, Darren Dean, Bettina Kadoorie, Kishori Rajan, Ani Simon-Kennedy, Dominique Telson, Cailin Yatsko
Production FilmRise (USA)

AKennedy 1hAni Simon-Kennedy

Raised in Paris and based in New York, Ani Simon-Kennedy is a feature film, documentary and commercial director. Under the banner of Bicephaly Pictures, she collaborates with cinematographer Cailin Yatsko on socially-conscious stories. Her first feature film, DAYS OF GRAY - a sci-fi silent film with an original live score by Icelandic band Hjaltalin - played at top festivals around the world. She has directed award-winning campaigns for Colgate, Smirnoff, Intel, Glamour, The New Yorker and Vice. Her work has received support from the Sundance Institute, the Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, Film Independent, Chanel and AT&T. Her second narrative feature, THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Director’s statement
“THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD is set within the American micro-culture of van dwelling: people who have chosen to spend their lives off the grid and have taken to the open road as a permanent way of life. The movie’s narrative is rooted within a story of love and loss, but more crucially, the movie depicts a quest that’s led by a quietly heroic young woman. As she takes to the road with limited resources, her physical journey across multiple states creates the literal motor of the film: a girl coming into adulthood, mourning the sudden death of her father with whom she has been on the road since birth. For Nola's father, vandwelling was a symbol of liberation as well as a relic of his freewheeling days. For Nola, it is simply the only home she has ever known. [...] Visually, my cinematographer Cailin Yatsko and I have been incredibly inspired by Justine Kurland’s work, particularly her series of photographs depicting life on the road with her young son. Vandwelling is a growing subculture in the US that is truly thriving.
The hashtag #vanlife has been used over 2 million times on the platform since it first appeared in 2011. I've spent the last two years interviewing vandwellers of all ages and backgrounds, and the appeal of the lifestyle is undeniably tremendous – a freedom that is hard-earned and terrifying at times, yes – but one that is endlessly expansive, too.
As a filmmaker, I believe it is my duty to tell stories with truth and empathy. We are living in a divisive time, and it’s important to shed light on voices that lie in the shadows.
The Short History of the Long Road depicts the fortitude of resilience, especially when following the most devastating of blows, in the most under-resourced of areas. While Nola’s story is set within a unique subculture, I believe her story is universal. If we are lucky, or attentive, we all experience a moment in our lives when we realize that our own upbringing has shaped us in profound ways.
Gil Scott-Heron said, “The way to get to know yourself is by the expressions on other people’s faces, because that’s the only thing that you can see.” I hope this film inspires audiences to take the road less traveled, to open their eyes to others, and maybe to consider also if the life they’ve chosen is truly the one they want for themselves.”

festival contact
FilmRise (USA) 

International distribution
Electric Entertainment (USA)