Zeitgeist Films is bringing Signe Baumane’s debut animated feature Rocks in My Pockets to theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. The film recently premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where it became the first animated feature to participate in the competition program. Rocks will first open at the IFC Center in New York on September 5, then at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on September 12. Zeitgeist is planning a national release to follow.
In the film, Baumane tells five fantastical tales based on the courageous women in her family and their battles with mental illness. Combining papier-mache stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, she has created daring stories of art, romance, marriage, nature, business and Eastern European upheaval — all in the fight for her own sanity.
“The idea for Rocks in My Pockets came from my stream of consciousness,” says the Latvian-born filmmaker. “Like most people, I think about a wide variety of things, some fantastical, some mundane, but my mind keeps coming back to thoughts of ‘ending it all’ and the ways I could go about doing it. Why? Why do I think this way? And why am I still alive despite such thoughts? I find the fragility of our minds fascinating…”
“It turned out that I was not the only one in my extended family having dark, obsessive thoughts. In fact, I had plenty of company. Unfortunately, not all of the sufferers were able to fend their demons off.
“Rocks in My Pockets is dedicated to my family members who did not survive, and to my surviving family who still live in the aftermath. The film is dedicated to the hope that we sustain in our darkest moments.”