Noisy Caterwaul

Noisy Caterwaul by Cynthia Abou jaoudeh


Leonora’s secret is eating her alive; There is a creature dwelling in her bedroom. Her mother’s protective instincts do not exist under the howls of upholding the family’s clean image. When the creature grows more brazen, Leonora, all alone, learns to embrace destruction.

Biography: Cynthia Bou Jaoudeh

Cinema was always my saviour. Being both nerdy and geeky at school didn't open a lot of doors for friendship, but plenty of doors to watch people's stories and marvel at films that treated stories similar to mine or to the ones I knew. Harry Potter was basically what sent me to film school, and I had finished my courses when I had to halt and begin working to help my parents out financially. 6 years and a wedding later, my husband and I went back to UNI and shot our 2 separate films. Telling stories again was invigorating, and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

Director Statement:

Noisy Caterwaul was, and is, an incredibly important story for me to tell. At a time when my country was going through turmoil and I was front and center with my husband and friends at protests getting sprayed with dirty water, tear gas and rubber bullets, I asked a co-worker at a TV station if he would like to go the garbage crisis protest with me. His reply? "There isn't any garbage near my house". Something within me snapped: the hatred for silence. I went home that day and wrote a poem called "Noisy Caterwaul".
A year later, I wrote a script about a girl who needs help. She receives it neither from her mother nor from those around her who knew the truth. I decided from the get-go that the camera will be a person who zeros in on Leonora's life when it's curious, and runs away when things get serious even when it has the potential to help make a change.
Being out of touch with everyone from film school after taking 6 years off to work meant that I had to rely on my husband to be my crew, while I was his. In the time it takes to make one film, we made two. Family and friends stepped up big time as well, and I will be eternally grateful for everything that they did and continue to do, from language advice by an English professor halfway across the world, to my sister making sure the set was clean and that everyone was fed on time, to everyone in between aiding in building fake walls and holding reflectors. None of these people knew much about film. They knew I needed help, so they helped.
We ended up with a Fantasy Gothic Horror film based on that original poem, and I used it as a narration for the movie, inspired by the 1950s horror hosts. I presented it at my university's jury, and I got first prize.
I am incredibly proud of this experience, humbled by everyone being there for me, and hoping to get to tell more stories in the future that might inspire people to do what's right.

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