“Yanvalou” was inspired by a personal struggle to connect with human beings—and my own body—within the conflicting cultures of the dance studio and digital startup environments. Though not a documentary per se, the film is based on a true story from my own personal experience.
Vanessa Kelly, a writer/actress on the Emmy nominated series, Giants, reached out to me to direct her piece. Our friendship came from working together on the series. She wanted to convey her feelings as a black woman in America as we watch our nation, again, gives time and attention to white supremacists.
After doing research, I decide I would dive in and have Whole Brain Emulation be the B-story, while the A story would focus on the complications of grief. This was how Lena’s Complicated Machine was born. The heart of the story is the ethic of hacking someone’s brain for dealing with grief.