There is something so refreshing about feeling like you’re not alone when facing anxiety.
The first film from Hulu’s Huluween line-up, Appendage, follows the life of a young fashion designer, Hannah (Hadley Robinson), who may appear fine on the surface but suffers from anxieties that begin to outwardly consume her. The film also stars Brandon Mychal Smith, Kausar Mohammad and Emily Hampshire.
“Appendage is the story about learning how to coexist with your anxiety and depression or whatever you have going in,” said director Anna Zlokovic. ”I think that always attracted me to the project, always attracted me to writing the story and connecting with people because I think it’s quite universal. Whether you’re dealing with it for a couple of days of your life or your entire life since you were born, anxiety is definitely something we should talk more about, and depression and mental health in general.”
The film explores the horrors of mental health, but Zlokovic is more focused on breaking the stigma around conversations and encouraging people to not suffer in silence.
“There’s still a stigma talking about this stuff and it’s so funny because everybody goes through it on some level and we all try to act cool about it, like it’s not happening. We’re all experiencing this,” she shared. “That was the ultimate intention behind it. To make something and be vulnerable with the content and make something sincere that can hopefully start a conversation after people watch it.”
As someone who deals with her bouts of anxiety, the director and writer admits that creating a film like Appendage was therapeutic in some ways.
“I’ve gone through all of this stuff that Hannah goes through on some level. I don’t have an appendage, like a literal one, but it was important, to talk to my friends about what they’ve been through and see how we all overlap. It’s just like the human condition,” Zlokovic explained. “The vulnerability was really important for me to put in there, even though it was scary. I think that’s ultimately what ends up connecting with people. I think people can feel it like, ‘Oh, this is a genuine thing that’s being communicated to me.’ And so I didn’t want to be scared about that. I mean I was, but I did it anyway.”
What’s more, creating a project like this was special for Zlokovic because of the hard time she was facing.
Zlokovic continued, “I found it to be a very cathartic experience as an artist and as a director to make this and I hope that other directors can kind of take inspiration from that and do it. I was going through a really hard time. My mom had just passed away four weeks before we started shooting so I was kind of carrying that into the production. I think that actually, strangely kind of motivated me and I was like she’s up there. She’s with me on this. It got me through all of the hard parts of making a movie.”
Appendage is now available for streaming on Hulu.