Filmmaker Ann Coppel Helps Us Find Her Inner Self

Ann Coppel’s short and sweet mock-doc manages to be both a tribute to and a skewering of the idea of getting in touch with your inner self. One day, Ann is walking with some friends. Then, suddenly, she’s on top of a rock yelling, “I AM ANN!” at the top of her lungs. And thus begins a New Age self-help movement that sweeps the nation. Very funny, but also quite generous in its depiction of a world looking for salvation, Coppel’s film is something of a paradox. By poking gentle fun at the idea of inner-self empowerment (even if that inner self happens to be someone else’s), it also manages to convey just how valuable said empowerment might be. The “I Am Ann” movement also has its own Website, where you can provide, um, “testimonials” and also follow the progress of the film, which is being released this month as part of the DVD Seattle Women in Film, presented by the famed 911 Media Arts Center. —Bilge Ebiri