Pandora - Short Film

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director | choreographer


DV, Stereo, Colour, 8 mins, 1.78:1


Dance film, 8mins. Based on the Greek myth 'Pandora's Box'. 2005

Concept Outline

Grounded in themes of the Pandora’s Box myth, Pandora tells the tale of an enigmatic hermit, and her discovery of a magical girl, washed up on the beach one stormy morning. The film speaks of isolation and intimacy between two lives. Carefully constructed illustrations of human fragility are brought to life throughout the film: what to do with a dead body, how to dress something that is not quite human, how to cut the strings that bind our lives without any bloodletting.

Artist Statement

I was interested in how to tell a story in a non-verbal manner. Coming from a dance background, I wanted to make a silent film that used movement as its main medium of communication but was more than a dance film. I chose to work with dancers because they bring an intelligence and subtlety to action, which is different from working with non-dancers. They evoke human experience and emotion through their movement.

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I was exploring how the stories and myths of our origins penetrates our reading of mundane life. When drawing on the Greek tale of the Pandora myth I was tying in themes and symbolic elements more than creating a literal representation of an ancient story.

Pandora is a visceral experience. The understanding of which is told not so much through a narrative structure but through the film’s colours, movement, and study of it’s characters. Detail is very important to me, whether it be the rich texture of red wallpaper, remembered passion showing through age-lines of a face, or the way a sound will twist around a movement, teasing it into its context. Pandora explores a context of geographical and human isolation, which allows for an internal landscape to be the focus.

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CAST Kilda Northcott, Tallulah Holly-Massey
DOP Richard Harling
WRITERS Charles Bisley, Alyx Duncan 
PRODUCERS Michele Powles, Alyx Duncan
EDITOR Daniel Strang

FUNDED WITH SUPPORT FROM The dance fund of Creative New Zealand and The Screen Innovation Production Fund, a partnership between Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission