Filmmaker's Name: Nikita Diakur
 
Film Title: Ugly
 
In 50 words or less, what is your film about? 

The film is about an ugly cat who struggles to coexist in a fragmented and broken world. He eventually finds a soulmate in a mystical chief. The film is inspired by the internet story "Ugly the Cat."
 
What was your motivation to make this film… why this film, and why now?  

I love making films, so motivation was never a problem. The film is completely simulated, the process was a lot of fun since the results were unpredictable and challenging, so the production process was exciting and diverse. The story in the film addresses universal values, some of these values are very straight forward, however people tend to forget about these far too often. 
 
Was there anything strange, funny, interesting, sad, scary, or otherwise unusual about making this film? 

I found animating/simulating Ugly is very close to making a live-action film. Simulated characters are like actors. Actors follow specific directions, but also bring an individual side into the process. Similarly, with simulations, you never know 100% what your characters come up with. In a way, those artificial characters are individuals with a "character." When you try to tell a story that process can be very challenging, but it never gets boring and you get very personal results. 
 
What is your connection to Mississippi?  If you don’t have one, why did you choose to enter your film into a Mississippi festival? 

I heard that Crossroads is a wonderful festival, so we entered without having any connections to Mississippi. :)