REEL WOMEN: Art Director Orly Anan

(REEL WOMAN: Orly Anan)

Mexico City-based Orly Anan is a Colombian/ Israeli visual artist and art director interested in the mysticism implicated in everyday life.

She is currently experimenting with the intersection of ritual and popular culture, as well as Anthropocosmic Surrealism. Orly’s research has led her to explore the traditions of various countries, from Asia to Latin America, these cultures being her main inspiration. She currently has a studio in Mexico City.

Anan has recently completed production on EIN SOF, the artist’s first short art film, which will be presented on the film festival circuit and in art installations worldwide beginning late summer.

EIN SOF holds the meaning of being ‘infinite’, or literally ‘without end’, and in Kabbalah is understood as God prior to any self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual realm. Starting from the Cabalistic concept, the film project is a vision of the infinite and unlimited possibilities that exist within our being to imagine altered universes and infinite characters loaded with cosmic messages.

Anan has unveiled a preview of EIN SOF, described as “a talent show from a parallel galaxy,” with the premiere of the film trailer and poster series. Watch below: 

Let’s meet Orly, today’s Reel Woman.

What’s your origin story? 

I grew up on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Barranquilla — a place where diverse cultures are found — where Africans/Indigenous /Spanish/ Jewish and Arabs meet together to create a beautiful cultural city full of color and the most important for me: the CARNAVAL and the music. These are a huge part of my story and a major influence on all of my work. Hence, I grew up in a very imaginative fantasy world, always playing dress-up and making choreographies and shows for the grown-ups.

How did you get into the film industry?

I’ve been experimenting for the past five years, and am absolutely fascinated by how the language of film connects and expresses to the maximum capacity the artistic language – where video, costumes, sound design, color correction, all blend to create a visual story. I believe it is the closest to having a total experience, so for me I am still experimenting in the film industry.


Who were your mentors?

I absolutely love Sergei Parajanov, Fellini, Almodóvar, Jean Luc Godard, Jodorowsky, to name a few…

While there will be others, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?

I believe my biggest achievement to date is the maintenance of my current studio in the center of Mexico City, where it’s a safe place, not only for me but for the artist community to experiment and express themselves freely through different materials and techniques.

What drives you to create?

The need of constantly being in an exploration mode, and the need of healing myself and others through art. I don’t know any other way of expression than art. 

What shows or films are doing the best job of portraying strong women?

Almodóvar and Agnes Varda have always been directors with whom I identify, especially on how they portray women in a very poetic, dramatic and realistic way. 

Coffee, Lunch or Happy Hour. Name a famous woman you would like to attend each function with.

Coffee with Billie Holiday.

Lunch with Marsha P. Johnson.

Happy Hour with Simone de Beauvoir.

What is the biggest challenge to women in your industry? 

To keep pushing forward on storytelling, directing, direction of photography – basically to keep fighting for equality in all areas of the industry. 

What are your superpowers?

Intuition and curiosity are my superpowers. 

What is your kryptonite?


When you’re not creating, what do you do in your off time?

I deeply love listening to new music, getting lost in nature, or simply strolling on the street.

Predict your future!

I imagine myself directing big theater pieces where contemporary dance, costumes and surrealistic sonography blend together, and collaborating with many more creative minds and musicians.

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