November 29, 2021

‘Final Call’ – The Journeys of an Independent Filmmaker

by Sara Barbas



Final Call is the title of my new eight-minute 2D traditionally animated shortfilm that is currently in development. We have created this production column where you can catch up with the process from early development to pre-production and hopefully, later, into the production and post-production stages.

Animation takes a lot of time to develop, to fund and to make but there is no greater feeling that to see your own characters come to life or to sit amongst an audience that is living your story, laughing with or feeling for your characters.

Final Call is a love story about Catarina (who´s a cat) who bumps into her old flame and ‘might-have-been’ lover Diogo (who´s a dog) at airport security. During a very awkward conversation (with heavy underlying subtext), and constantly interrupted by airport security staff and procedures, Catarina and Diogo realise they could have been together and that they made a big mistake due to a misunderstanding.

The inspiration for “Final Call” came from a true story that happened to a friend of mine. I never again forgot the feeling that came over me when she told me how her and this young man missed out on a great opportunity when they were very much in love, all because of a small misunderstanding. And years later, they realised this over a coffee. But it was too late. The feeling of having missed an opportunity seemed so strong to me I wanted to emulate it and represent it and share it with an empathetic audience.

Also, as a frequent traveller, I have spent many long hours at the clinical environments that are airports. I have queued endlessly and gone through security countless times. For this I wanted to use the setting of an airport – a place of transition, of arrival, of departure. And in particular the security check – where you have to go through an almost humiliating process of x-raying your belongings, taking off coats, scarves, boots, getting out laptops. Of almost feeling like you have done something wrong.

These two ideas together have been the basis for Final Call and my goal is to, even if for a brief moment, have an audience feel for the characters and identify themselves with them and hopefully leave the screening feeling that they ought to seize the day.

I started developing Final Call during Animation Sans Frontières, the European Animation Production Workshop subsidised by MEDIA and hosted by four of the most established Animation Schools in Europe. That’s also when I was invited to further develop the project at The Open Workshop, the artistic residency at The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark.

I am presently nurturing a crowdfunding campaign for the film where friends, family, filmmakers and cinephiles can all chip in in exchange for rewards like artwork or credits on the film.

In the next articles I will delve into two amazing experiences that were the European Animation Production Workshop and the Danish Artistic Residency as well as report to you the advancements in the crowdfunding experiment. Thank you for reading.

Sara Barbas

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