Ode to a Sunrise

Noise and silence, understanding and conflict, freedom and restriction. Over the course of a day, a young girl navigates these opposing forces in her life. Set in an unassuming suburb, the free-spirited girl clashes with her mother over what matters most.

  • Marissa Michel
  • Marissa Michel
  • Marissa Michel
  • Sofia Michel
    Key Cast
  • Ivelisse Michel
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, experimental
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 12, 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 - Sidwell Friends
  • Prague International Indie Film Festival

    2021 Official Selection (Third Quarter)
  • All American High School Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    October 9, 2021
    North American Premiere
    2021 Official Selection
Director Biography - Marissa Michel

Marissa Michel served as the 2020 Prince George’s County Youth Poet Laureate. She is the recipient of multiple national gold medals for poetry in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. Marissa was a 2020 American Voice Nominee, and the 2020 Diaz-Mattison Poetry Prize recipient. Her newest writing can be found in The Rising Phoenix Review, the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Love Letters To the Mothers and Fathers of the African Diaspora, and elsewhere. Her short film "Law and Order: Special Princess Unit" was produced by Filmsters Academy in 2018. Her short film "Renee" premiered as part of the "In Our Heads" anthology at the 2020 Columbia University DiFi Film Festival. More information about her can be found on www.marissamichel.com

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Director Statement

"Ode to a Sunrise" was inspired by my desire to break free from the stress and routine of daily life. Like the protagonist, I find myself enthralled by nature, music, and art. I too shy away from traditional expectations. The "mother" in this story was inspired by my inner conscience - urging me to conform to societal standards. I thought it would be interesting to explore this complex relationship through a mother and her daughter. Additionally, as the granddaughter of immigrants myself I believe this storyline effectively mirrors the relationship between many immigrant parents and their children; (hence the inclusion of dialogue in Spanish, my mom's native language). As a poet, I chose to weave lines of poetry into the "daughters'" thoughts in order to paint her character as an embodiment of art and light - searching for release. Many of the decisions I made in this film, such as only including music when the daughter is outside, are meant to highlight the sharp line between play (outside) and restriction/order (inside). Yet, by the end of the short I wanted to show how that line could blend. (Fun fact: every 'sunrise' scene in this film was shot at sunrise, which meant waking up extremely early for a week straight). I hope you enjoy this work!