Director BIOS: Nina Gerstenhaber, Jessica Stanley (THE ROSE GARDEN)

Director Biography – Nina Gerstenhaber, Jessica Stanley

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Nina Gerstenhaber
I was born on April 10, 1994 in Paris, France. My family and I moved to Israel when I was 13 and I then moved to America to study animation. I grew up drawing, watching movies and reading books, so I pretty much always knew that I had a passion for storytelling and the entertainment industry. I always loved to draw but the movie that really made me want to do animation is Spirited Away. I remember that this was the first movie that made me notice the character animation and how great and subtle it was. After my military service, where I worked as a graphic designer, I wanted to move to America to study animation. I looked up the top colleges for CG animation and found Ringling College of Art and Design. During my time at Ringling I have gained tremendous experience and exposure to the field of animation and received hands-on training through various projects. After my graduation, I would like to keep evolving in an inspiring environment where I can continue to develop my skills and grow as an artist.

Jessica Stanley
Jessica was born August 24, 1996 and grew up in The Woodlands, Tx. From the moment she could pick up a crayon she was always drawing. Throughout school she drew comics and wrote short stories. Thanks to her cinephile father, she was raised with a TV always playing a movie, and was constantly absorbing films. Some of her greatest influences from this time were Spirited away, The Dark Knight, and Amelie. In high school she chose to combine her two loves- drawing and film- and pursue a career in animation. Ringling was the next logical step for her.

While she is constantly looking to expand and change up her artistic sensibilities, she is currently highly influenced by fables, Miyazaki, and Brad Bird. She hopes that with each work she creates she pulls the audience into a fantastic world and relieve them of the real one for a brief moment. She
hopes that through viewing her work, the audience could learn more about themselves and become better people and a population as a whole.

Jessica has taken online courses outside of her Ringling education to further her studies including courses at Concept Design Academy and CG Master Academy. In the summer of 2017, Jessica was a story intern at Pixar Animation studios. Her group’s senior film was chosen as part of the Best of Ringling senior Computer Animation films.

After graduation, Jessica hopes to be a storyboard artist at a feature film studio and travel in her free time. She enjoys baking, finding obscure indie bands, and brewing rare teas.

Director Statement

This film was created with an intent to guide the audience through a whimsical journey that proves in the end to only be a distraction for the real message of the film. It was heavily inspired by fables and folk tales and the elegant simplicity of their messages. Fables long history in storytelling and universality of their messages resonated with us- few stories are universally known but fairy tales and folk tales have survived centuries- and our film was built to be a homage to them. The film aiming to create a modern fairy tale- following the tropes and structure of fairy tales while introducing modern design, setting and character elements.
We felt the short film format was perfect for short, simple universal messages, perfect for the fairy

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