While seeking out former quilters in and around northwest Alabama, Natalie also interviews people about the act of quilting and its impact. The oral histories capture stories of how community members learned to quilt, examine the role quilting played within the community, share family histories, and reveal much about life in the region. The produced documentary brings to life how sewing as a “living art” was once an essential skill, and highlights the dignity and pride of self-sufficiency and endurance.
The final 22-minute documentary, “Stitch,” was the result of 35-hours of digital interviews and four rolls of Super 8 film. With a minuscule budget, the short film is produced and supported by Fish Film and directed by Natalie. Natalie’s friend Sissi Farassat (entry coming soon) acts as cinematographer; Jakob Glatz works as an assistant to the director, part-time camera and sound man, production coordinator, good sport, and fearless driver.
So many of the storytellers in this project, including Natalie’s grandmother, have passed away since 2001. We send the deepest gratitude to everyone involved, their families, and their ancestors, who transferred this knowledge to a willing generation.
Slide 1: Film still from the title sequence of “Stitch”, Director of Photography Sissi Farassat
Slide 2: Original “Stitch” VHS tape that played the 4-minute trailer during the first Alabama collection showing at the Chelsea Hotel, photograph by Robert Rausch
Slide 5: Back cover of Sioseh 17: Alabama, by Sissi Farassat, shot by Sissi during the filming of “Stitch,” photograph by Robert Rausch
Slide 6: Photograph of the “Stitch” film crew—Jakob Glatz, Natalie Chanin, and Sissi Farassat, standing against the back wall of the house at Lovelace Crossroads—from Sioseh 17 by Sissi Farassat, photograph by Robert Rausch
Fish Film, operating from 1998 to 2003, produced, directed, organized, wrote, and supported an inspiring body of films, television commercials, and music videos. Thank you to all the Fish Film founders: John Buche, Christoph Chrudimak, Moritz Freidl, Gammon, Igor Orovac, Oliver Kartak, Florian Kehrer, Jo Molitoris, and Wolfgang Tschofen.
Concept and Direction: Natalie “Alabama” Chanin
Assistant to Director: Jakob Glatz
Camera: Sissi Farassat and Jacob Glatz
Cut: Gerd Berner
Trailer Editor: Martin Matusiak
Original Song “Stitches”: Khan
Sound Mix: Markus Pochinger
Sound Studio: Soundtrack
Creative Direction: Project Alabama
Graphics: Andrea Jirez and Florian Schmeiser
Stock Material: Lloyd Llewellyn
Producer: Josef Bacher
Chief Trouble Maker: Paul Graves
Positive Criticism: Florian Kehrer
Production Assistant: Agatha Whitechapel and Karen Gruber
Executive Producer: Igor Orovac