Netflix’s HOMEMADE: Global Filmmaking in a New Era

Netflix has released an anthology of short films created by filmmakers across the globe, depicting the many and varied ways people’s lives have been affected by the Covid-19 quarantine.  The films are made entirely with “equipment found at home and range from intimate diaries of the filmmakers’ day-to-day life to short tales of fiction across multiple genres.”  Each film states where it was made, as well as the equipment used, showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of all those involved.  Artists were gathered by Lorenzo Mieli, CEO of The Apartment, Fabula’s Juan de Dios Larraín and Pablo Larraín and are produced by The Apartment Pictures, a Fremantle company, and Fabula.  

The collection exhibits the talents of celebrated filmmakers around the world, encouraging viewers to expand their conceptions of life during lockdown.  Filmmakers include Gurinder Chadha (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (2002)/ BLINDED BY THE LIGHT (2019)) in London, UK; Maggie Gyllenhaal (THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER (2018) / THE HONOURABLE WOMAN (2014)), in Vermont, USA; Ladj Ly (LES MISÉRABLES (2019)) in Clichy Montfermeil, France; Johnny Ma (OLD STONE (2016)/ TO LIVE TO SING (2019)) San Sebastián del Oeste, Jalisco, Mexico; and Naomi Kawase (TRUE MOTHERS (2020)/ SWEET BEAN (2015)) in Nara, Japan.

There are seventeen moving and unique stand-alone pieces, and they can be viewed in any order.  The collection is a signifier of a new era in filmmaking, showing that the process can be accessible, and the content still interesting and aesthetically engaging.  While the series concept is based in the consequences of the quarantine, there is a range of tones, including inspirational themes, quirky comedies, and somber reflections.  The anthology required artists to tackle major obstacles inherent not only with regular production, but also the challenges presented with the lockdown as well, such as remote filming and editing.  Each film is completely unique and runs no longer than eleven minutes, making it concise, yet easy and binge-able entertainment.

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