No ‘Sleep’ for Filmmaker Binsfeld

NEW YORK Sylvia Binsfeld, a freelance commercial director, has put her life on hold for a movie. That’s because she’s spent the last few months working on and promoting her five-minute short Dorme (Sleep).

This week it will be shown as part of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and next week it will be screened at the San Francisco International Festival. So far, in its nine weeks of release, Dorme has been part of eight festivals. Binsfeld hopes to be in 25-30 festivals by the end of the year.

For Binsfeld, who has directed spots for, a lingerie retailer, and Red Wing Shoes, Dorme represents a chance to prove herself as a director capable of handling a complicated shoot. Of the 65 shots used in the film, 64 required either a composite or effect.

“This is my one shot at showing people what I can do if given the budget,” she said of her short film, which she has spent $110,000 on so far. She is currently in negotiations to shoot a spot for a furniture company based in Santa Rosa, Calif.

In Dorme, a little boy goes on a wordless fantastical journey while he sleeps. Along the way he encounters a woman who transforms herself into a fish, a wizard with sleeping dust and a cradle that doubles as a kite. Arnaldo Antunes sings the Brazilian lullaby “Dorme,” which initially inspired Binsfeld, throughout the film.

Binsfeld, who also directed the short Hot Winter Nights in 2003, said the storytelling qualities she brings to films can translate into the world of commercials. “I believe that in advertising if you hit an emotional chord, your spot will be remembered,” she said.