A traumatized woman seeks penance and personal transformation through tattooing after surviving a devastating pregnancy.

One night, drenched in booze and ink, her deepest fears threaten to consume her.

Creative team

Writer/director: Ashlea Wessel
Producers: Alex Lawrence, Ashlea Wessel

Filmmaker’s statement

At its inception, INK wasn’t a film but a visual image. Being a photographer, my life is based on just that: one visual image at a time. I see a vignette in my head and the rest of the world blooms around it.

When it came time to create a story around my image, I knew immediately what kind of character I wanted to create because I wanted to see someone like me up there: who’s neither the typical ‘leading lady’ nor the stereotype of the oddball, goth-y, tattooed, punk, what have you. She’s a real woman whose proclivities become a crutch amid her psychological turmoil. It’s something that could happen to anyone. Just with a bit more ink.

The pain and guilt that she’s dealing with are raw and real, and I think can speak to fears that most women in the world must face at some point whether child rearing is a part of their life or not. It’s the fear and mistrust of one’s own body and, in relation to that, what it means to have the ability to create new life.

Aside from the dark and psychological, I can never resist a creature, and especially not one with plenty of ingrained metaphor attached. It’s important to me to have a little bit of fantasy/make-believe in my art because, well, it’s super fun to create and, even in its darkest moments, I want it to be fun to experience.

I think INK is a film that can be enjoyed by all kinds of weirdos. It’s dark, creepy, psychological, sad, strange, stylish and sometimes gross. Pretty much everything I was aiming for in my first film.

About Ashlea Wessel

Ashlea Wessel

Ashlea Wessel is a first time filmmaker and award-winning photographer, hailing from Toronto, Canada.

Ashlea’s still photography work has been described as cinematic and her unique aesthetic translates seamlessly into the medium of narrative film. She is inspired by the weird and wonderful; the things only unearthed from the darkest corners of the imagination.

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