Watch: Transfixing ‘Foreign Exchange’ Short Mixes Sand + Currency
by Alex Billington
June 14, 2021
What kind of story can you tell with a handful of sand and a handful of currency? That’s the concept behind this mesmerizing short film Foreign Exchange, created by animation filmmaker Corrie Francis Parks. After picking up a number of awards at film festivals the last few years, the short is now available to watch online – only 5 mins long. Foreign Exchange explores the tenuous connections and reinventions that keep the global economic tides flowing. It’s made with a unique micro-sand animation stopmotion technique in which the individual grains of sand take on a life of their own. It’s entrancing. I quite like this intro because it reminds you to focus on the details and how much is visible looking this closely: “Using a collection of banknotes and sand gathered from over 50 countries, Foreign Exchange looks like nothing you have seen before, taking you into a tiny world of dazzling details. What you observe there, and the meaning you derive from that observation depends on where you start your journey. Look closely, it’s all in the details.” Enjoy.
Thanks to Vimeo Staff Picks for the tip. “In the vast landscape of global economics, what is the worth of a handful of sand? At times, the individual is lost amidst the masses as they flow through the structures and systems of government. Meanwhile, a country curates its national stories and creates an artifact that passes through a thousand hands before ending up tucked in the back of a traveler’s drawer, a useless banknote symbolizing the possibility of return.” Foreign Exchange is directed by filmmaker Corrie Francis Parks based in Baltimore, MD – see more of her work on Vimeo or visit her official site. She is “a classically trained animator perched precariously on the still point between the traditional and experimental.” Featuring sound design by Matt Davies & Studio Unknown, with original music by Alexandra Gardner. This first premiered in 2019 and played at numerous festivals, winning “Best of Baltimore” from the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival. For more info, visit Vimeo or Corrie’s website. To discover more shorts, click here. Your thoughts?