A young woman finds hope while processing the grief of her Mother’s suicide.

In LOVELY, Iris navigates loneliness, attraction, grief, and ultimately hope after her Mother's suicide.

It’s a film about happenstance, being at the right place at the right time; and about a yearning that – if only for an afternoon – comes to fruition.

"Living with an inherent sadness in her heart, Iris – after an encounter with Dylan at a neighborhood bookstore – is struck with a zest for life again…until she has to confront an unbearable family truth."

Interesting aspect: More than 80% of LOVELY's leadership crew were female! (Director, Writer, Editor, Cinematographer, Lead, etc.)

  • Gabriela Tollman
    Somebody's Mother
  • Jess Conkwright
  • John Jester
    Stealing Christmas
  • Emily Hall
    Key Cast
    The Lawst Inn
  • Anka Malatynska
    Little Women
  • Joe d'Angerio
    Million Dollar Baby
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 12, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • White Unicorn International Film Festival
    September 15, 2019
    South Asian Premiere
    Best Film on Women
Director Biography - Gabriela Tollman

Gabriela is a native of Johannesburg, South Africa and a graduate of U.C.L.A.'s theater and film department. She has directed over ten short films; which have played in festivals worldwide including; The Cannes Short Film Corner and The Sundance Film Festival. Several of her films have aired on television networks including HBO. Her first feature film titled "Somebody's Mother" was released theatrically in October 2017 to rave reviews. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Somebody's Mother tackles a terrible loss and its aftermath with knowing empathy." "Somebody's Mother" is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime, Itunes and GooglePlay

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Director Statement

As a child growing up in South Africa, I witnessed extreme violence, which gave me a unique perspective on the world. Growing up during the Apartheid regime, I experienced what happens to a society when access to the news and media is restricted. Cinema offered me a chance to observe cultural, economic, and racial diversity. Filmmaking as a 'weapon' for social justice resonates with me. Film has been my creative weapon.

I have been making films independently for the last fifteen years. My short films have played at The Sundance Film Festival and The Cannes Short Film Corner. My first feature film premiered at The Cinequest Film Festival in 2017 to rave reviews.
I have always worked from personal experience in my films.
I am fascinated by how the subconscious affects the conscious mind. I studied hypnosis and am a certified hypnotherapist. Similar to hypnosis when a person watches a film, they enter a trance. The script LOVELY exists in a realm between dreams and reality.

The story centers on Iris, a grieving daughter. After Iris' mother takes her own life, her world shatters. She is forced to traverse into unfamiliar and terrifying territory. Iris must face her grief. When she meets Dylan at a bookstore, she realizes she can become happy again. The film explores how we go on after tragedy.