Private Project


"Joy" is an enchanting animated short film about an amorphous character who embarks on a whimsical walk toward self-acceptance, navigating the relationship between their changing body and the changing seasons.

  • Kohana Wilson
  • Mark Hadley
  • Mark Hadley
  • Hark Madley
    Original Music
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
    Music, Animation, Short Film, Music Film
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 5, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kohana Wilson, Mark Hadley

Kohana Wilson (they/them) is a Japanese-English 2D animator and illustrator based in Brooklyn. They work in 2D frame-by-frame animation processes, often using paper and pencil. Their past work spans music videos, short films, television productions, commercial projects, and more.

Mark Hadley (he/him) is an American composer, producer, artist and multi-instrumentalist from Rochester, NY. With an affinity for unearthing new sounds and experimentation, and a reverence for the human condition, Hadley's sound is a genre-less coalescence of the organic and synthetic. Hadley releases original music under his moniker Hark Madley, as well as composes music for films and other visual media.

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Director Statement

Statement from Kohana Wilson: Season cycles inspired the visuals for ‘JOY’. I often found myself reflecting on scales of change and fear of change, from bodily changes to seasonal rebirth. Animation reminds me that change is truth, and much of this film - through morphing characters and weaving loops - is an exploration of that. The timeline of making this film charted the seasons, beginning in a uniquely stubborn fall and wrapping up production in spring. The film as a result became deeply observational, the product of attention paid to morphing scenery and bodies.

Statement from Mark Hadley: I created the music that would become "Joy" during a period of my life when I was struggling with anxiety, depression and confusion surrounding my identity as a person and a musician. My goal was to explore creativity with a playful and whimsical state of mind, and create a body of work that exuded happiness and wonder. I always knew throughout the process that this needed a visual companion. When I found Kohana's work, it was clear that their artistic voice could create the visual world of Joy that I was seeking. We are so excited to share this film with the world and to uplift this story of happiness, wonder and creativity.