SUPERIOR

Directed by
Erin Vassilopoulos

Teenage identical twin sisters grapple with the difficulties of shifting identity.

NYC based filmmaker Erin Vassilopoulos had her childhood best friends, twins, on her mind when, while studying at NYU, she found herself riding an elevator with identical twins. The almost Shining atmosphere of the situation and her childhood memories made her think about the complex identity of twins - what is it like to experience arguably the closest bond one can have with someone, and also to look exactly like that person.

'While writing, I began to approach the short somewhat as a 'break up' story, based on an experience I had been through. I was trying to channel some of the complicated emotions surrounding the realisation that you have to break up with someone, or on the flip side (and usually much worse) when you realise someone is about to break up with you. I felt like these kinds of emotions could also be relevant to the experience of a twin who feels compelled to distinguish herself, and the effect that might have on her sister.'

I began to approach the short somewhat as a 'break up' story, based on an experience I had been through.

Inspired by locations, the film was originally planned to be shot in a small, industrial town of Superior, Wisconsin (hence the title, which also relates to the power dynamics between the sisters). Due to budget restrictions, Erin eventually found a town in Upstate New York with similar feel and the house that became a big inspiration for the visual feel of the film. 

Casting of sisters Anamari and Alessandra Mesa was another important element of the film.

'I was very lucky to have found Anamari and Alessandra Mesa - I put out a casting call for twins and one of their instructors at an acting studio in New York encouraged them to respond. One of the first times I met with them, I went over to their apartment. First off, I found that Ani and Ale lived in a studio with two twin beds in the main room (much like in the short). At some point, I asked them what kinds of things they like to do at home and they said—dance! So we put on some music and they started dancing, and before long they were mirroring each other’s moves, feeding off each other in a way that was so interesting. That was a big inspiration behind the exercise scenes in Superior, this kind of visual mirroring.'

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