“Waiting by the Phone,” the award-winning animated film written/directed/produced by DePaul University alum Olivia Jensen, is now available online after a successful year-long festival run across the United States.
“Waiting by the Phone” was created during Jensen’s senior year at DePaul University and so far has screened at more than fifteen film festivals across the United States including the 2019 National Film Festival for Talented Youth, the 2020 Detroit International Festival of Animation, and the Academy Award-qualifying 2019 LA Shorts International Film Festival.
The film has won various awards on the film circuit as well including wins for Best Directing at the 2019 DePaul Premiere Festival and Best Animated Film at the 2019 Big Picture Film Festival.
One of the reasons Olivia wanted to make this film was to show animation in a new light. “I wanted to show that animation is a beautiful medium to tell stories about emotional topics,” Jensen says. The film deals with themes of loss and depression as it centers around a woman named Dani who struggles to live while coping with the tragic truth about her sister.
During her time on the festival circuit, Jensen was shocked by the reaction her film received. “While the laurels and awards are validating, the most rewarding part of the film festival process was interacting with audience members,” Jensen says. “Some were counselors who praised my portrayal of grief and loneliness, others felt a personal connection with their own relationships and told me they saw themselves in my film. Those interactions are what I will remember forever.”