Private Project

Growing Indoors

Growing Indoors was filmed during strict lockdown in Savannah, Georgia, in the first half of 2020.

Using just my own camera and lighting equipment at home, I decided to document what it is like for an artist to want to express herself and to find light within the storm we have inside ourselves during the challenges of Covid 19.

I had the great honor to work with my roommate (Selah Kwon) who is a VFX Scad Student who did camera operation, and an orquestra from my country, Venezuela, (Orquesta Juventud Salsera) to record a liberating Spanish song "Aguanile". This is a term that means "a water powerful enough to clean our home". However, not our physical homes, the home we will always carry with us, our soul. The orquestra members worked also under quarantine, sending their voice, trombone, piano, percussion and bass recordings from different homes in lockdown in Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela. We did not know each other before making this film, but what brought us together in this project was the common goal to create “Aguanile”, cleaning our souls and calming our worries during the pandemic, doing what we can do best… creating. During the making of this film, I received behind the scene videos from the musicians, putting mattresses on their walls to do the instrument recordings. We did not have as many physical resources, but we had our talent and are souls to create with.

This piece intends to honour the artists who miss creating in studios, in universities, but who still find ways to create under the circumstances.

For an artist it is liberating to express oneself, but quite honestly, each human needs art. Here, I intend to make a point on how important art and entertainment has been to everyone during this difficult time. It is thanks to the movies we are watching, the books we are reading, the music we dance to and other art forms that we are able to surpass the storm that this pandemic has been, and to stay sane, while we all connect through a unifying issue.

This film shows how desperately we need the imagination, the arts, the music and the human connection to keep growing, even if we must do it indoors this time.

One may think access to arts is an escape, but it is life, in itself; it is necessity in itself.

  • Maria Primera Darwich
  • Maria Primera Darwich
  • Maria Primera Darwich
    Key Cast
  • Selah Kwon
    Camera Operator
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 20, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - SCAD Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Savannah Film Festival
    United States
    October 26, 2020
Director Biography - Maria Primera Darwich

I am a filmmaker, experiential designer & project manager with a focus in directing in film and creatively directing in design projects in hospitality, entertainment and urban settings . I am due to graduate in May 2021 with a MA in Film & TV & a MFA in Themed Entertainment Design from SCAD.

Currently, I am based in Savannah where I am directing 5 episodes of the TV series "Cinco de Mayo is not a thing", due to be shot and edited by the end of July for an Emmy's submission. For my design thesis, I am suggesting designs for the recently approved, Smithsonian Museum for the American Latino. Recently, I had the pleasure to combine my 2 areas of focus for a design created for Disney Imaginations, a competition where my team was a country's finalist and where we had the incredible chance to pitch our design ideas to Disney executives and where I also premiered a short film I shot in Savannah with the girl scouts in the city where this foundation was founded.

Before my time in Savannah, I obtained a Business Administration degree with a focus in Entertainment Management & marketing in Switzerland, where I created several public events, including an event plan for the Olympic Committee. My second undergraduate degree is in French and German (pursued in the US, France & Germany).

The common denominator between my studies is that I have a passion of trying to understand humans. Nowadays my focus is on storytelling though film and immersive experiences.

It is my pleasure to create to understand creatures as complex and as beautiful as human beings are.

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Director Statement

Creating a feeling. This is something I have been fascinated by ever since I was a little girl. The feeling of a moment, the feeling of every color of human emotions. As a filmmaker and experience designer, I intend to provide an experience that will trigger a variety of emotions for all types of people.

Depending on the story I am trying to tell, I will sometimes choose film or immersive physical experiences to be my medium to convey the feeling, and in special occasions I enjoy mixing both in the same space. It is this constant endeavor of attempting to understand humans, our emotions and way of making sense of life that has cultivated my love for “emotion-making” I feel very passionate about the creative process it takes to understand a character, a theme or a story, and then translate it into a physical environment or a story on a screen.

Many times, you can find me with a stack of books or having long conversations with strangers (friends I have not made yet) seeking to connect the dots in a different manner than normal in my mind and in my soul. Ultimately, my intention through stories is to make people feel, and take action to grow, call that loved one, or pursue their dream because they might have felt inspired by a compelling character: My duty is to breathe life into memorable visual experiences and make you feel alive.