Animator Alexa Lim Haas remembers receiving a text message from her college friend and collaborator, Bernardo Britto, about a documentary about NASA’s Apollo missions, “For All Mankind.”
Britto was fixated on a throwaway shot of a glove coming loose from a compartment and floating away into space. “They don’t mention anything about it. They just focus on the astronauts,” she said. “And he’s just like, ‘How is there this glove floating around that no one’s talking about?'”
That glove captured Haas and Britto’s imagination so much that they made an animated short about it. “Glove,” one of the finalists in TheWrap’s ShortList Film Festival, shows the incident that began the glove’s journey into the cosmos from the perspective of the astronaut who lost it.
“That glove carries with it everything that went into the making of it,” said Britto, whose previous film, “Yearbook,” was a meditation on the impermanence of human achievement. “Whereas ‘Yearbook’ says we’re all going to be forgotten and this doesn’t really matter, ‘Glove’ is saying that even though we can’t tell how far our actions and the things we make will go, they do have an impact on things and will go on forever.”
As he watches the glove float away, the astronaut begins to ruminate on the glove’s humble origins in a factory in Delaware and the many cosmic wonders it will pass as it floats long.
The film also includes lighter moments, like a scene of ticking Chinese cat toys. “It’s the only shot that, no matter what, always gets a laugh from the audience,” Haas said. “I remember when I came up with that idea when I was in Chinatown looking at the plastic toys and thinking about how all of this will outlive me one day in a Dumpster somewhere.”
While he came up with the original idea, Britto credited Haas with helping him shape both the film’s aesthetics and writing style. Though they have collaborated on several films, “Glove” is the first time they have directed together. “Glove” previously screened at this year’s Sundance and won the Short Film Jury Prize at SXSW.
“This is the first time we were able to make something that was neither a Bernardo movie nor an Alexa movie,” Britto said.
Watch the film above. Viewers can also screen the films at any time during the festival at Shortlistfilmfestival.com and vote from Aug. 9-23.