UW-Milwaukee Graduate’s Short Film Will Screen At Cannes

Terry Bell Interviews Jessica Knap, Whose 'Forget Me Knot' Tells Story Of Reincarnation

Jessica Knap. Photo courtesy of Jessica Knap.

Jessica Knap of Cedarburg is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee film program. Her short film, “Forget Me Knot,” which tells the story of a grieving widower, a little boy, and a pet fish is screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

Terry Bell: There’s an opening sequence in this movie – it’s one single moving shot – and it’s held for a good minute or so. I haven’t seen anything like that since “Touch of Evil,” which was directed by Orson Welles. What gave you the idea to do that?

Jessica Knap: When I thought about my film, I wanted to think about nature, and I thought about the grass moving, and the trees moving. So I wanted to emulate that same thing with the fish, because fish are so fluid when they move.

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TB: I don’t want to give anything away, but the theme of this film definitely seems to be reincarnation.

JK: Yes, it is. Since my family is a little bit older, losing a family member is such a big thing for me. So having that hope and that belief that maybe they’re still there watching over everyone, for whatever religion it is. I also have a very close connection to animals, and so I thought about, what if that person was still with you, but as someone else?

TB: When you were making this movie, did you have any idea at all that it would end up at the Cannes Film Festival?

JK: No. That was not in the plans, I guess!

TB: But it was a possibility. This has been done at UW-Milwaukee before.

JK: Yeah. UW-Milwaukee gives the opportunity for some pieces to go over, and they fund that for the students, instead of the students having to pay that amount of money to submit – they give them that opportunity.

TB: What do you hope people will take away from your movie?

JK: I hope they take away not taking life for granted, in a sense. Because I feel often we just go through our busy lives, and not really think about it, and we don’t take a moment to breathe, and to think about where we are in that moment in time. And I think that’s why I shot it the way that I did, simply because it was so fluid in movement – to kind of slow down time and really analyze what’s going on around them.