A new anthology of short, quarantine-created films is heading to Netflix. Homemade, spearheaded by filmmaker Pablo Larraín, will see 17 filmmakers unite to capture the shared experience of quarantine.
In the wake of many film sets shutting down for quarantine or production being postponed – including Warner Bro’s The Batman, Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion, and Disney’s live action reboot of The Little Mermaid – Homemade’s directors were instructed to film using only equipment they have at home.
Equally, due to filmmakers being separated across the world by their individual coronavirus circumstances, the shorts have been filmed in a variety of different locations, with Rachel Morrison (Black Panther) filming in Los Angeles, Gurinda Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham) filming in London, and Sebastián Lelio (Gloria Bell) filming in Santiago, to name but a few. It is understood that their contributions will be available to watch individually as five-to-seven minute shorts or alternatively as one longer feature.
According to Teresa Moneo, director of original films for Netflix, the production was an “intense” race against the pandemic to keep the films relevant. “Intense in that it was all happening live, in front of our eyes,” she told Variety. “We all had to […] join forces very quickly to make sure we had this within a time where it made sense to go out.”
Homemade is a distinctive endeavour to explore the pandemic and the impacts of preventative restrictions, such as lockdown, on a global scale. Larraín told Variety of his hopes to capture this unique “adversity, and how we are all from different countries, cultures and circumstances, but for a very unique moment of humanity, we’re all sharing very similar circumstances in different contexts.”
Plot details remain largely under wraps, but it is understood that the project’s 17 directors – including big names such as Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Kindergarten Teacher) and Ladj Ly (Les Misérables) – were given quite an open brief. Juan de Dios Larraín – Larraín’s brother and creative partner in their film company, Fabula – told Variety of the duo’s desire for simplicity and universality: “it was totally open. We asked only for [each film’s] rating to be general, and not only for older audiences.”
Not only in its content but its filming, the project is truly an international one, with directors hailing from four continents. It is understood that their shorts will explore and respond to these different international circumstances accordingly.
Dios Larraín added: “For once in our careers, this wasn’t about money, agencies, lawyers or the Hollywood structure.” Suitably, a donation in honour of each filmmaker will be made from Netflix’s Hardship Fund to organisations providing support to out-of-work creatives.
Homemade will premiere on Netflix on 30 June.
Words by Olivia Emily