On Sunday, up-and-coming Chicago director Jonah Ansell (best known, to date, for his viral save-the-date wedding video, which was featured in Glamour) will screen his animated short film Cadaver for a select audience at The Standard East Village.
Based on a poem Mr. Ansell wrote to help his sister fulfill a creative assignment at Northwestern’s medical school, the seven-minute film, which stars Ms. Gevinson, Kathy Bates and Christopher Lloyd, is about a cadaver that comes back to life to say goodbye to his wife. When he decided to develop the story into a short film, Ms. Gevinson, a family friend of Mr. Ansell, was his first pick for the lead, a young doctor.
“I kind of consider her a little sister to me,” said Mr. Ansell, who previously cast Ms. Gevinson in his first post-film school short.
“She stood out, even out of everyone that auditioned,” he said of their collaboration. “She has a profound awareness and insight into the world around her, even at a very young age.”
“This was before Tavi had become the Tavi that’s been imbibed by the public,” he explained.
The short also features Ms. Gevinson performing a rare Neil Young-sanctioned cover of “Heart of Gold,” which Mr. Ansell recorded in a Chicago home basement studio on Easter morning. (Ms. Gevinson is rumored to be performing it live at the Standard this weekend.) Mr. Ansell said the track, along with the short film and an adult picture book version, will be released later this year.
Ms. Gevinson and her costars are on board with expanding the project into a full-length feature, according to Mr. Ansell, who is looking for a production company with which to partner.