Mixtape is a five-minute film about loss, centered around Paige, a young adult whose life has gone through a major change due to the loss of her mother. Though it centers around this death, it is more about the loss and grief that follows such a tragedy and the unique experience of losing a caretaker like a parent at a young age. It is about the slowness it takes to heal, to reach acceptance, and the pain that grief brings. How it festers and grows if it’s suppressed. For Paige, her tape player and mother’s mixtape brings up memories of her mom that are hard to process in this new context of her death. Paige has trouble expressing her emotions and chooses to bury them instead, causing her to become stuck and unable to reach acceptance. Paige’s story is highly based on my own personal encounters with grief and much of the iconography used in the film is representative of my past. I wanted to show that it is okay to feel pain and trying to not feel it will just make it worse. That Paige would still be accepted for expressing her emotion. For me, without the powerful love from my friends and family, moving forward would have been impossible. I still have a lot of work to do, and I will grieve those I’ve lost for the rest of my life. But I know with kindness, I can find ways to move on.