Private Project


Heartstrings is a short 3D-animated drama that tells the story of Ailidh, a young Irish woman who immigrated to New York City in 1910 with little belongings except for her father's old violin.

Ailidh comes home from a long day of performing in the streets of Hell's Kitchen with a broken string, discouraged, and soaked with rain. Although she is on the verge of giving up on her new life in the United States, she is surprised to find that by playing her father's violin that she hadn't had the heart to touch since her journey began, she is able to bring him back to her for one final goodbye. Though the encounter with her father is short-lived, it gives Ailidh the encouragement she needs to continue to follow her dreams of becoming a performer and she is left with a newfound confidence that she will be okay in her new life.

Heartstrings was written and directed by Erin Donahue at the Savannah College of Art and Design with a talented team of eleven artists with diverse backgrounds and experiences, two sound designers, and a score by Miles Kredich.

  • Erin Donahue
    Sneaks, Jungle Jack's World of Wonders
  • Alexandria Rivero
  • Sam Coulter
  • Nicole Duerr
  • Yuanshiyu Gao
  • Noah Heilveil
  • Nicole Keefe
  • Jing Lyu
  • Ryan Marsden
  • Tashi Sherpa
  • Rongchen Ye
  • Miles Kredich
  • Elizabeth Moore
    Sound Supervisor
  • Jules Santamauro
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    drama, historical drama, animation
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 16, 2021
  • 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 - Savannah College of Art and Design
Director Biography - Erin Donahue

Erin Donahue is 3D artist and production manager for animated projects and immersive experiences. Originally from Pickerington, Ohio, she graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design summa cum laude in May 2021 with a BFA in 3D animation and a minor in themed entertainment design. Erin has previously interned with the Disney Parks, Ohio Film Group/Lengi Studios, and WarnerMedia, where she gained firsthand insight into theme park daily operations, worked in preproduction on Ohio’s first fully-animated feature film, Sneaks, and managed original HBO Max in-app content. Currently she is an HBO Max design management coordinator at WarnerMedia. Erin has collaborated on many short animated films throughout her time at SCAD, both 2D and 3D, including Bombshell, The King and the Pawn, and Enter the Oligocene VR. She loves nothing more than helping to bring her teams’ ideas to life and making the intangible tangible. Heartstrings marks her directorial debut.

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Director Statement

Working on Heartstrings has truly become one of the best memories I hold from my time at SCAD. Our team made this project such a joy to work on - I admire their passion and dedication from beginning to end, and I enjoyed learning something new from them every single day. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with such a wonderful crew!