Student film ‘Indigo Corners’ aims to inspire

Elliana Bertrand directs actors on the set of "Indigo Corners." Photo courtesy of Elliana Bertrand

By Maximilian Diehl | Staff Writer

The room is silent, save for a rhythmic metallic ‘clink’ coming from acrylic nails tapping away on the lid of an energy drink can. Phoenix, Ariz., junior Elliana Bertrand sits tall in a director’s chair, seemingly sizing up a perfectly mundane classroom for the perfect shot. There’s no camera, but the artistic eye doesn’t stop where the camera ends.

For Bertrand, she said the camera offers a medium of expression for the experiences within her own life that she feels deserve to be told. We all have stories, but Bertrand said she feels that she has the tools and talents to tell hers in a way that may just move others to tell theirs as well.

However, Bertrand’s path to finding her directorial voice hasn’t been one of straight shots and easy steps. Rather, she had to make the choice to jump in headfirst and change her major to one where she would be something of an outsider. In a major dominated by men, with no female professors, Bertrand would be stepping into an entirely new world. But it was one that she had great passion for and one that she thinks people can follow her into.

“Film is my whole life, my everything,” Bertrand said. “I hope I can set an example for other younger women who have this passion and want to work in film. I hope at the very least I will have encouraged other women to make this change by the time I leave Baylor.”

Bertrand’s latest directorial project is a culmination of her discovering her voice and purpose and combining that with her years of education. The film “Indigo Corners” is a blend of diverse genres and represents Bertrand’s unique experiences that she has brought to the Baylor film and digital media department.

“[‘Indigo Corners’] is a combination of French New Wave cinema and Dario Argento’s ‘Suspiria,’” said Bertrand. “And it’s certainly the most personal of any of the pieces I’ve made so far.”

“Indigo Corners” is Bertrand’s semi-autobiographical venture into a ballet studio and the mental and physical health effects that accompany the extremely high standards and toxic culture that often goes hand in hand with it. But the culture of Baylor’s film department has allowed Bertrand to speak up and create a product that can allow her to move forward and maybe help others.

Bertrand isn’t the only one who has been inspired by the department, either. Film student and Covington senior Winton Burnett said the department is supportive of all of its students’ endeavors.

“The Baylor film department is strongly encouraging of our passion projects, of us becoming all around creators” Burnett said. “I couldn’t be more thankful for my experience here.”

Bertrand expects to be ready to release the film by the end of June and is hoping to premier the film somewhere along the film festival circuit. She also plans to host a premiere on Baylor’s campus at some point in the fall 2023 semester.