Hello, and welcome to the Scene to Seen Podcast. I am Valerie Complex Associate editor and film writer at Deadline. We are back with another exciting discussion and today’s guest is writer director Anna Zlokovic about her feature length debut, Appendage. A body horror comedy starring Hadley Robinson that debuted on Hulu October 2 and is available for streaming.
Robinson plays Hannah, a young fashion designer, who seems fine on the surface but secretly struggles with debilitating self-doubt. Soon these buried feelings begin to make Hannah physically sick and sprout into a ferocious growth on her body: The Appendage. As Hannah’s health declines, The Appendage grows more powerful and begins to fuel her anxieties – her perceived lack of talent at work, her deteriorating relationships with her boyfriend and best friend and her parents’ lack of love and understanding. At her breaking point, Hannah makes a shocking discovery — there are others out there like her.
Anna is an award-winning writer/director based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has screened internationally at festivals including Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Slamdance Film Festival, and Fantasia Film Festival. Anna was a fellow of Tribeca and Chanel’s Women’s Filmmaker Program: Through Her Lens. Anna’s directorial debut feature film, Appendage, had its World Premiere at SXSW 2023 and was released on Hulu this fall. It is based on the Sundance 2022 short film of the same name. Anna was named one of IndieWire’s 28 Rising Female Filmmakers to Watch in 2023.
At first, Appendage started as a short film that starred actress Rachel Sennott and debuted on Hulu in 2021 as part of the second season of 20th Digital’s Bite Size Halloween, but was approached to extend the story, and turn it into what it is today. On today’s episode, Zlokovic and I discuss the process of expanding a short into a feature film, navigating anxiety, and the intersections of horror and mental illness.