An Imaginary Life: Sony Tropfest short film festival winner

The short film “An Imaginary Life” won this year’s Sony Tropfest award. See here for details. The film was my pick of the finalist films, even before knowing it had won the grand prize. Beautifully told, charmingly animated and cleverly filmed, I finished watching the film feeling very sad indeed for the poor, rejected imaginary friend.

“An Imaginary Life” begins with footage of a young boy, narrated by someone who has felt the loss of him at some point in time. It turns out the narrator is the boy, Andrew’s, imaginary friend. The narration comes some time after Andrew moved on to ‘real’ friends. The rejected imaginary friend subsequently leads a sad and lonely existence, always floating in the background of Andrew’s young life. The imaginary friend tries to find happiness without being needed anymore with the final solace being that Andrew is indeed ‘happy.’

I thought this was a gorgeous idea and I did the classic ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhhing’ when I watched this film. I felt very sorry for the poor imaginary friend, but it was hilariously told at the same time. Rarely do I watch film of any kind more than once but over the weekend I watched “An Imaginary Life” three times I loved it so much.

Before watching the comedic take on the concept of the imaginary friend, I really hadn’t given these little mates much thought. I don’t recall having had an imaginary friend myself as a child – perhaps my loss? But I do remember my niece often used to talk to her imaginary friend. In fact, I think she had a whole bunch of imaginary friends, most of the fairy variety.

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little? Do you remember having one, or of your parents telling you that you did? Why do some kids have them and others don’t? Is the sound of a young child talking away to him/herself an indication of the imaginary friend? Why do children have them?

Whatever your thoughts on imaginary friends, this film certainly made me want one – and I’d be certain not to forget about my little buddy!

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