My Love Affair With Marriage is a New York Times Critic’s Pick animated feature about a spirited young woman determined to find love in the bewildering world. The film follows Zelma on her 23-year quest for perfect love and lasting marriage set against a backdrop of historic events in Eastern Europe. It blends historical, biological, societal, and emotional arcs with a lively sense of humor and musical numbers. This animated film for adults tackles the issues of love, gender norms, domestic violence, fantasies and toxic relationships to propel a woman’s journey toward independence and liberation.
The director, Signe Baumane, will go on a storytelling journey exploring the making of the film, which took seven years and was financed with the help of 1,685 individual donors along with grants from many arts and cultural institutions. My Love Affair With Marriage was made and distributed in a DIY manner: without major studios, powered by people.
Baumane and producer Sturgis Warner started working on the independent animated feature film My Love Affair With Marriage in late 2015. Much of the work at Signe Baumane Studio in Brooklyn is practical, meaning non-digital: Baumane draws most of the animation herself, pencil on paper, while Sturgis builds sets out of wood and their team of artists covers them in paper-mâché and paint. Watch the 2‑min trailer here.
My Love Affair With Marriage had its world première on June 11, 2022 at the Tribeca Festival in New York City, and has screened at over 100 film festivals around the world.
Signe Baumane was born and raised in Latvia when it was still part of the Soviet Union. At age 14, she began publishing short stories. At 16 she won poetry reciting competitions.
Baumane received a BA in Philosophy from Moscow State University. After graduating she started to work at Riga’s Animated Film Studio as a cel painter and later as a writer, director, and designer. Baumane directed three animated shorts in Latvia before moving to New York. Baumane has written, directed, and animated 16 shorts and one feature film, many of them with a strong female point of view. She passionately believes that animation is a perfect medium for adult storytelling. Her films have collectively screened at over 560 film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Venice and Karlovy Vary.
Following Signe Baumane’s event, the Michigan Theater will show My Love Affair With Marriage. Buy your tickets for the 7:30 PM showing here.
Presented in partnership with the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the UM Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.
Series presenting partners: Detroit Public Television and PBS Books. Media partner: Michigan Radio.
In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.