Upon returning to her family home, a distrusting young woman begins to experience increasingly more paranoid delusions until they manifest into an Entity that she must face before her trauma engulfs her.
Lydia, a neurotic and anxious young woman, returns to her empty family home, she stays in her unchanged childhood bedroom. Over a few days, her mental state rapidly declines, manifesting into troubling delusions.
Plagued by traumatic dreams, she begins to second guess herself, imagining an intruder; the constant thought of somebody watching her not leaving her head. As the film progresses her intrusive thoughts begin to increase, completely overwhelming herself. She begins to envision an Entity, a complete manifestation of her trauma, who eventually engulfs her. Lydia becomes consumed with her trauma. She is transformed into a doll.
Doll Parts examines sexual and childhood trauma (and how that trauma can manifest), regression, derealisation, and mental distress under a childish yet dark feminine gaze intertwined with motifs of ballet, music boxes, shadows and the colour pink!
The film follows Lydia whose trauma gradually becomes so overwhelming and intrusive to the point that her thoughts converge with her reality and she can no longer differentiate the two. This merging of the two realities acts as a catalyst as her intrusive thoughts manifest into a physical being, the entity. The entity stalks Lydia, haunts her until they swallow her whole, and she begins to transform…
Lydia regresses into her childhood self but as a doll. She has become fully objectified.
Doll Parts is a body horror short that takes influence from psychological horror and thriller film tropes. Our primary reference for Doll Parts is Andrzej Żuławski’s 'Possession' alongside David Robert Mitchell's 'It Follows'; Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 'The Passion of Joan of Arc' and German Expressionist films, particularly with their stylistic use of shadows. The cinematography styles of Natalie Erika James' 'Relic' and the use of overlays and close intrusive camera work in David Lynch’s 'Inland Empire'. Visually through our production design, we are referencing the representation of girlhood and innocence in both Sofia Coppola's use of the feminine aesthetic in 'The Virgin Suicides' and the work of photographers Petra Collins and Nan Goldin.
'Doll Parts' is a very personal story which I wrote based on my own experience dealing with sexual trauma, PTSD and mental health issues and how it has affected my life both mentally and physically. As a director, I aim to culminate those intrusive moments and dramatise them through a surrealist, uncomfortable, and at times, horrifying lens. I want the audience to feel extremely connected to Lydia as we join her as her mental state declines and she succumbs to her delusions and intrusive thoughts but also voyeuristic as we watch her through wider statics shots that linger and hold on to her as the Entity - a visual and stylistic representation of the manifestation of her trauma - slowly engulfs upon her throughout the film.
Outside of studying, Keziah works alongside their sister, Indi Foster, as a creative direction duo, shooting at various events, such as the 50th Anniversary of Alternative Miss World, being the most inspiring to them both, and collaborating on short films and photoshoots that usually encompass the themes of gender-bending, surrealism, high fantasy and the Uncanny Valley.
Keziah's work is always inspired by themselves and their families' upbringings and life experiences, with the aim and intention of writing/directing working class, queer and gender non-conforming and female-centred narratives. They are heavily inspired by 70s European 'experimental' cinema, such as the work of Borowczyk and Švankmajer, as well as cult, camp, exploitation and queer filmmaking alongside 80s horror and B-Movies. The likes of Beth B, John Waters, Maya Deren, Nick Zedd and Chantel Akerman are among their favourite directors and constant sources of inspiration.
Keziah's favourite horror film is either Repulsion or Videodrome!
Semeli has worked in numerous departments over the last 5 years, both as part of her university curriculum as well as outside of the university. She has experience with editing, directing, 1st ADing and co-producing, getting to work and network with the film industry in London, Athens and Nicosia. Her films have just started circulating in film festivals, starting with a nomination from Cyprus Dance Film Festival.
This film is a great chance to portray the effect of trauma via a medium which often relies on victimizing women. It is a chance to change this outlook in a fun, pink, and thought-provoking way! As the film’s producer, she intends to dedicate her time and organization skills to push this film to look its best while receiving the exposure and support it requires. She is currently in her final year, studying Film Practice at London College of Communication, UAL.
Semeli's favourite horror film is Rosemary's Baby.
Director of Photography
Jessica is an experienced cinematographer with a background in a variety of previous projects. Her journey has included university projects, independent productions, and commercial settings, where she has honed her craft. In this project, Jessica has been assigned a role that perfectly aligns with her qualifications and soft skills. Her passion for this cinematography runs deep, stemming from her genuine interest and the skills she has cultivated over time. Jessica aspires to bring creativity, dedication, and a problem-solving mindset to the table, to bring visual ideas to life.
Jessica’s favourite horror film is Midsommar.
Jade Strong Danis
Jade was thrust into production design when she joined UAL as it was the only specialism with open space. Luckily, she fell in love with the craft and has been a production designer through university ever since. Outside of university, Jade focuses on screenwriting, with her first script garnering industry attention. She’s very excited to lean into the creativity and experimentalism required by this project and surround herself with everything pink, girly, and Y2K. In this project, Jade aims to marry the film’s seemingly oppositional genre of horror with the visual aesthetic to create a meaningful visual story and comment on the film’s themes.
Jade's favourite horror films are Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Bodies Bodies Bodies
Antonia is currently studying BA Film Practice at the University of the Arts London with ‘Doll Parts’ being the final graduate project. Antonia has amassed an interest in editing, particularly working with projects that involve experimental editing where she can let her creativity be expressed freely. This story can relate to a lot of young women, exploring themes of trauma, dysmorphia and innocence. Antonia wanted to bring this story to life, using experimental editing to bring the dysmorphia that the protagonist is feeling, turning it into an interpretation for the audience to feel and experience.
Antonia’s favourite horror film is Last Night in Soho!
Karol is a 3rd year BA Film Practice student at London College of Communication. Based between London and Warsaw he works across various mediums, including photography, moving image, and sound art. He has worked on several short films and communication projects, with a primary focus on post-production, all the while nurturing his interest in performing image and fashion film.
Karol, in collaboration with the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, has directed and composed a digital performance that is featured as a part of ASVOFF 15 in Paris.
Karol's favourite horror films are ''Titane,' 'Raw,' or anything directed by Julia Ducournau!
We appreciate you for reading our greenlit page and we hope you consider donating to our project!
Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to work through the pre-production process!
Again thank you!
The Doll Parts crew
(greenlit poster photo by Indi Foster)