Brightwood is the story of a young girl’s real and imaginary lives, combining the theme of innocence with the deeper human needs of finding home and family. Sparrow, age 10, wakes one morning to discover a nest of baby mice in her sock drawer. Attempting to care for them, she takes them along on her mysterious daily routine, collecting various treasures she finds as she rides her bicycle through the forest, along the beach and up and down quiet rural roads. She heads for the sanctuary she has created in a run-down house deep in the forest, where she keeps her treasures and hides from the rest of the world. Along the way, the mice face danger and abandonment, but even in Sparrow’s sanctuary, they are unable to survive. Sparrow returns home to her parents, and the reason for her need to find a family is revealed as she faces a challenge greater than any child should.
Brightwood is a short film that was shot right here on San Juan Island in August 2011. The film was written by LaDora Mishan Sella, directed by Lautaro Babriel Gonda, and independently produced by Write This Way Productions. It premiered in May 2012 at the Seattle International Film Festival and was an official selection at both the Santa Fe Film Festival and the Tacoma Film Festival, where it won “Best Regional Film.” Brightwood continues to screen at film festivals around the country. The cast includes Lauren-Brooks Wilson, Jonah Beres, Stefan Hajek and Sam Motley.
Running time: 19 minutes.