Co-Directed with Tatiana Von Furstenberg
“Knowing each others darkest moments somehow connected us and redeemed us, the way two negatives make a positive, the way your eyes adjust to the dark.” Ferrnanda (v.o.)
Tanner Hall was conceived by “writers on bed rest”, a term that Tatiana and Francesca used when referring to themselves during the months in which Tanner Hall was being gestated. They would lounge in bed for hours, trading stories, of experiences they’d had, anecdotes they’d heard, things they’d witnessed in boarding school.
Soon four characters emerged – Fernanda, Victoria, Kate and Lucasta. These characters became the heart and soul of what would become Tanner Hall, a spirited, poignant and droll coming of age tale.
Tatiana and Francesca’s vision was to create a timeless piece not bound to any decade in particular. They wanted it to have a magical, almost ethereal quality, to evoke the period in our lives, where everything is new and undiscovered and possible. In keeping with that vision, the music, costumes, furniture, hairstyles and cars were purposefully taken from several different decades so that it is a world suspended in time, infused with fantasy but grounded in reality.
Most important to the writer/directors was that the film treats the tumultuous issues of coming-of-age, with respect, audacity and humor. Tanner Hall does not talk down to teenagers, turn them into caricatures or have a moral agenda. It works on two levels, its relatable to teens and nostalgic to the ‘older set.’
With New England fall as the backdrop and an old, crumbling yet majestic boarding school as the setting, the Tanner Hall girls stumble their way into adulthood, a sometimes painful, sometimes exhilarating, and often awkward journey, one that the adults in their world are taking for the second time around. No one is exempt from the unrelenting, transitional phases of life. But this first, monumental transition, from girlhood into womanhood, finding your place, discovering your sexuality, and switching reliance from your family onto your friends, is the driving force behind Tanner Hall.
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