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Gardenia

Gardenia is set in a magical world reminiscent of classic fairy tales - a world of faes, witches, and magic. In a whimsical forest, a lonely ancient talking tree’s wish for companionship is granted and a girl is born from the earth, given the name Gardenia. Gardenia is born with a heart too big for her body, and so must always carry it around in her pocket, shining bright golden when joy fills it.
Mother tree warns Gardenia of the dangers that await in the outside world, but soon realises that solitude is a slow painful death of its own. The girl’s heart chips, cracks and begins to break from the crushing weight of loneliness. Eventually, mother tree allows Gardenia to leave the safety of her canopy in a quest for happiness to fix her dying heart. Blissfully unaware, the girl sets off for a mystical adventure.

  • Aiman Malik
    Director
  • Aiman Malik
    Writer
  • Cain Howlett
    Writer
  • Aiman Malik
    Producer
  • Mia Bryson
    Key Cast
    "Gardenia"
  • Marielle Intveld
    Key Cast
    "Witch"
  • Heather Crawford
    Key Cast
    "Mother Tree"
  • Tim Edhouse
    Key Cast
    "Narrator"
  • Cain Howlett
    Key Cast
    "Rock"
  • Antonio Bibbo
    Assistant Director
  • Aiman Malik
    Editor
  • Cain Howlett
    Assistant Editor
  • Aiman Malik
    VFX Editor
  • Jordan Alchin
    Camera Operator
  • Sakina Thaker
    Gaffer
  • John Fricker
    Sound Operator
  • Yuki Mura
    VFX Asset (Smoke)
  • Cain Howlett
    3rd Assistant Director
  • Chantelle Vidorin
    Makeup Artist
  • Aiman Malik
    Cinematographer
  • Jordan Alchin
    Cinematographer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 17, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    50 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
    Australia
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia
  • Language:
    English
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Aiman Malik

Aiman Malik is a young 19 year old South Australian filmmaker with a deep passion for visual storytelling. Born and raised in Pakistan, she didn't get to unlock the full potential of her lifelong filmmaking dreams until she moved to Australia at age 14. Since then, she has made many short films, mostly revolving around the horror and fantasy genres. She has a Certificate III in Screen and Media (Film & Television), and is currently undertaking a Gaming, Animation and VFX Diploma at Tafe SA Adelaide College of Arts. Aiman also creates film content for social media on her Instagram @aimanwithacamera

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Director Statement

Gardenia is a short film that mimics the world of classic fairytales to delude the audience into expecting a "happily ever after". The whimsical and mystical aesthetic of the film aims to create an eerie contrast against its plot. With Gardenia, I wanted to challenge the viewers to contemplate on the constant, endless and fruitless hunt for the fleeting feeling of happiness, in an unfeeling world.