Disappearing Pathways

Disappearing Pathways, 2020

Disappearing Pathways is an award-winning animated film by Michael Covello and Elizabeth Schneider.

It is a meditation on what it feels like to both belong and not belong within a community. The voiced narration in Disappearing Pathways explores issues of metal health, in relation to hallucinations, dreams, addictions, and family entanglements. We all carry baggage that is inherited through family and how we maneuver through the world is tied to both upbringing and genetics. Who we are is shaped by the past. Family history inevitably repeats itself as we strive to both maintain traditions while also attempting to embrace individuality and break the cycle of our ancestors.

Throughout the animation, we use symbolism involving our interactions with nature, representing the passage of time as well as shifting notions of importance. Culturally, plants can be both coveted or undesirable simply by virtue of perspective. When dealing with categorization, our first question was: when does a plant become a weed? And then we began to think about how the symbol of the weed could be used to examine our own role in society. When does a “human” become a weed? Is this tied to how we navigate and understand community and communication? In relation to metal health, when does a thought become a weed in one’s mind?

Disappearing Pathways is our poetic exploration of these questions, and an examination of how perspectives can shift depending on where you are standing.


This animation has been screened at the following venues in 2021:

  • New York Independent Cinema Awards (awarded “Best Animation” in April 2021)
  • Amsterdam International Short Film Festival (awarded “Best Animation” in May 2021)
  • London Independent Film Festival
  • San Francisco Independent Film Festival
  • T-Shorts Animation Festival
  • ARTSxSDGS Online Festival
  • Silvermine Gallery


Covello Schneider Award Laurels
Covello Schneider Award Laurels

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