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Our incredible Kay Hanley leaves us

Updated: Sep 6, 2018

#lily #MNFF #festivals


This past weekend one of my movies was in the official selection of Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. Lily is a short film that I made with a budget near to $300. It started from a class assignment at Middlebury College. I wrote the script over a night, and shot it in one afternoon with other three friends.


This movie had a huge impact on my undergraduate work. First, I had the chance to work with professional actors from the local community. Second, I got the support from an incredibly facility in Vermont, the Residence at Otter Creek. They opened the doors to our project, and we even found our incredible actress, Kay Hanley, among their residents.


Kay Hanley, playing the role of Lily.

This movie was about nostalgia. To use a better word, it was about saudade, a word in Portuguese that denotes the longing and melancholy we may feel for someone (or something) that is gone or about to go away. Leaving my family and friends behind to study in the US filled my day-to-day with saudade. And somehow this story allowed me to express this pain.


And just like an irony of fate, we experienced the very same grief in our team, as we lost Kay Hanley a few months after the premiere of Lily. She was 96 when she made her actor debut in the role of Lily. This experience gave "her pride and purpose in a time where those things were so difficult to come by," said Courtney Allenson, the Engagement Director at The Residence. And Kay brought laughter and joy to everyone in the team. For this reason, we hope our memory of Kay survives through this movie, which will always remind us of how wonderful she was and would have continued to be as a person (and actress!).

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