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Black Box

An astronaut encounters an unexpected emergency while on a routine mission, and finds himself jettisoned into space. Isolated, afraid, and losing oxygen, an emotional revelation may provide the will he needs to survive. Black Box is a story of victory over fear, survival against all odds, and the courage of love.

  • ALANA MANGO
    Director
  • Kate Lowe
    Production Manager
  • Alex Sellati
    Lead Background Designer
  • Christian Cline
    Background Painters
  • Stephanie de Jesus
    Background Painters
  • Seyoung Jang
    Background Painters
  • Vic Ottomanelli
    Background Painters
  • Ian Cole
    Additional Animation
  • Lex Cooper
    Additional Animation
  • Catriona DiNero
    Additional Animation
  • Sooji Hong
    Additional Animation
  • Chloe Linscomb
    Additional Animation
  • Kate Lowe
    Additional Animation
  • Mahogany Martin
    Additional Animation
  • Josh Mizrahi
    Additional Animation
  • Ian Cole
    Additional Rig Animation
  • Ke'Shaun Grant
    Effects Animation
  • Angela Awada
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Kevin Duong
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Cameron Greco
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Anami Hayes
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Hannah Lamneck
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Justin Maynard
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Joanna Nhema
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Chris Nims
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Chima Shonaiya
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Darayell Wright
    Additional Clean-Up
  • Min Kyung Cho
    Additional Color
  • Camille Rentz
    Additional Color
  • Isabella Restrepo
    Additional Color
  • Emily Rodriguez
    Additional Color
  • Ken Yakura
    Additional Color
  • Rainn Mowris
    Sound Design
  • Lupus Nocte (Milky Way Express)
    Musical Score
    Epidemic Sound
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, LGBT, drama, suspense, thriller, LGBTQ, Animation, Short, inpirational, survival
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Savannah College of Art and Design
  • The Rookie Awards 2022

    Excellence Award, Finalist
  • Out on Film: Atlanta's LGBTQ Film Festival 2022
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    September 29, 2022
    World Premiere
  • Reel Pride LGBT Film Festival 2022
    Fresno, CA
    United States
    October 1, 2022
    California Premiere
  • Seattle Queer Film Festival 2022
    Seattle, Washington
    United States
    October 22, 2022
    Washington Premiere
  • International Queer Film Festival Merlinka
    Belgrade
    Serbia
    December 8, 2022
    International
    Official Selection
  • image+nation Montreal LGBTQ Film Festival
    Montreal
    Canada
    November 17, 2022
    Canadian
    Official Selection
Director Biography - ALANA MANGO

Alana Mango is a 2D animator, director, and comic artist dedicated to the weird and the beautiful; the absurd, the terrifying, and the hopeful. She is devoted to broadening the scope of queer representation in animation using innovation, passion, and thoughtful storytelling.

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Director Statement

Black Box was envisioned alongside a graduate thesis on improving the authenticity of queer representation in animation, while avoiding queerbaiting. Growing up, there was a lack of the sort of representation I hoped to see in media, and what I did receive was tragic, demeaning, or meager. Even at the time of Black Box's release, the percentage of queer characters appearing on screen for more than one second in tv and film is staggeringly low, with often shallow narratives that leave queer audiences feeling either unsatisfied or exploited. Black Box was therefore conceived as a possible example of how to tell better, more authentic queer stories. As stated in my graduate thesis, "this film does not venture to create “perfect” representation, but rather to fill the empty spaces that are waiting and wanting for authentic stories with emotional truth."

The film centers a queer character as the hero of his own story, inviting LGBTQ viewers to step out from the sidelines and into the lead. My goal was to present an authentic queer experience not just in the visible, explicit sense, but in the non-literal sense. Our hero Jo's terrifying isolation in deep space was not an arbitrary decision, but a deliberate choice meant to reflect the internal struggles many LGBTQ individuals face over the course of a lifetime. In the end however, it is his queerness that is his very salvation, as the image of the person he loves sparks in him the determination he needs to survive. Far from being another victim of queer tragedy, Jo's story is one of survival of hardship, victory over fear, and hope for tomorrow.