SPECIAL JURY AWARD

NOMINATED BEST FOREIGN PROJECT

WorldFest
Houston
Central Florida Film Festival

TAKEN FOR GRANTED


 

This powerful psychological drama in documentary-style format traces the last day

in the life of housewife Martha Michaels (Ilka Urbach), unraveling her intriguing personality and the striking circumstances of her death. The film opens a window onto the minds of those whose need for love and nurturance drives them to the extremes.

 

Written & directed by Gabby Egito (psychological drama, 12 minutes)

AWARDS

  1. Special Jury Award at WorldFest Houston

  2. Nominated Best Foreign Project at the
    Central Florida Film Festival

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

How well do we really know the people around us, even the most beloved ones? What leads a person with Munchausen Syndrome to often do unimaginable things? Would it be a deep sense of isolation and disconnection with their peers? Or would it be mere compulsion to deceit triggered by a mental illness?

 

Driven by these questions, I tried to unravel this psychological universe little known by the general public, although socially relevant, trying to fit the pieces of a complex behavioral puzzle through the lens of the characters surrounding the protagonist Martha Michaels.


In this brief character study, I counted with the invaluable creative collaboration of the actors. They line up the story in interviews taped and edited just like in a documentary.

The technique, which powerfully delivers truthfulness to the film, is the result of actors' improv based on data about the syndrome and a biography of each character that I previously provided them.

 

Like in Interiors (1978), Woody Allen's tribute to Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, photography and production design of TAKEN FOR GRANTED play neatness and brightness, countering the psychological darkness and insulation of the characters. Another great source of inspiration for my film are German director Douglas Sirk's masterful melodramas in Hollywood '50s, such as Imitation of Life (1959) and All That Heaven Allows (1955).


I sincerely hope this short film can sensitize the viewers to this serious topic.

CAST

Ilka Urbach

Michael Nicklin

Brenna Rhea

Terri Crawford

Michael McAdam

MARTHA MICHAELS

BILL MICHAELS

JENNIFER MICHAELS

NURSE ELIZABETH LANE

DOCTOR GEORGE MURPHY

CREW

WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY

PRODUCED BY

MUSIC BY

CINEMATOGRAPHY BY

FILM EDITING BY

Gabriela Egito

Gabriela Egito

Gabriel Dib

Andras Balogh

Gabriela Egito