500 CALORIES

End of production: March 2020 Short film: 17 Mintes
Directed Cristina Spina
Screenplay Cristina Spina
Producers Oliva Serafini-Sauli & Trullove Cinema
Country: ITALY – USA
Gendre: Drama

Cast: Katleen Chalfant end Yvonne Woods
Director of photography: Teodoro Maniaci
Music: Rossano Baldini
Editing: Stefano Mariotti & Cristina Spina
Music: Rossano Baldini
Sound editing: Marta Billingsley
Color: Antony Raffaele

LOG LINE
A human being needs at least 1200 calories a day to live. At 13 years old, Theresa’s ballet teacher sent her to see a doctor, a dietician, who decided to restrict her to 500 calories a day. And Theresa began to starve.

500 CALORIES SYNOPSIS
Theresa (40), something desperate in her face, in her eyes, has been living in her car for a week. We don’t exactly know what’s happened before this moment, but we can imagine that she has left her husband, her job, and is traveling with almost all of her belongings. Often the reason for our deepest anguish lies in our past, and Theresa has decided to journey back into her adolescence. She is looking for a cure, a liberation, a confession. She is driving alone through the countryside, looking for the home of Mrs. Evangeline, a woman in her 70s and the former director of an important ballet school. Theresa will burst into the director’s house, her former teacher, with a violence that surprises her. She wants to confront Mrs. Evangeline, but more precisely, she wants an apology.  

It doesn’t matter if it was 25 years ago; Theresa remembers what happened, perfectly, and now she wants to understand why it did. While waiting for the woman whose house she’s broken into, Theresa will eat, open doors and cabinets, throw stones at Mrs. Evangeline’s window, wanting, hoping to make her appear. Their ultimate meeting will be totally unexpected. It will be aggressive, violent, and in some moments sweet. And in the end, Theresa’s truth as well as Mrs. Evangeline’s guilt will be simple, direct and disconcerting.  

When Theresa was a student at the ballet school Ms. Evangeline suggested she go to a doctor, a dietician, in order to lose 20 pounds. By doing so she would rise to the top of her class and ultimately realize her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. However, when Theresa visited this “doctor” (if one can even call him that), not only did he put her on the inappropriate diet of 500 calories a day, but he also began to physically abuse her.

This film is inspired in part by true events from my life and also the experiences of others, all of which share the common theme of the adolescent body, remembered and violated.