Vanilla Essence   (1989, 16 mins, 16mm)    

Vanilla Essence (1989, 16 mins, 16mm)

A young woman in her home begins to bake a cake, but finds that she doesn’t have any vanilla essence. Never having stepped outside her house before, she decides to go out to find some vanilla essence, and she finds the external world strange but also surprisingly rewarding.

A unique film in Kannava’s oeuvre, a homage to silent-cinema comedy, the female figure echoing Chaplin and Keaton. Surreal and experimental at times, the film is still heartfelt and touching, like all of Kannava’s work.

(note by Bill Mousoulis)

"As I watched Kannava's films, The Wizard of Oz kept popping up in my mind. I don't know if Anna liked this film, but I recognised a bit of Dorothy's journey in Vanilla Essence – with its wonderful visual storytelling and its explosion of colour in costumes and décor."

- Cristina Álvarez López

"Vanilla Essence highlights for me Anna Kannava’s wonderful sense of humour, and unconventional, unpredictable and original approach to filmmaking."
- Rosemary Mangiamele

Kannava Essence (tribute to Anna Kannava)

IMAGES FROM THE FILM             click to enlarge

Vanilla Essence (1989, 16 mins, 16mm)

Director: Anna Kannava
Producer: Janet McLeod
Cinematographer: Brian McKenzie
Editors: Anna Kannava, Clayton Jacobson, Virginia Murray
Sound Designer: Simon Wilmot
Music: John Clifford White
Props: Leigh Sloggett
Credits and Animation: Sabrina Schmid

Denny ... Carole Patullo
Cake Woman ... Nell Macauley

Produced with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission

St Kilda Film Festival 1989
Anna Kannava Retrospective, Cinema Nova, Melbourne 2011
Tribute to Anna Kannava, Melbourne 2011
Tribute to Anna Kannava, Sydney 2015
Artist Film Workshop, Melbourne 2018
IVAC film festival, Cyprus 2022

© Anna Kannava Estate 2023