Kalyn Elizabeth Wood

Kalyn Elizabeth Wood is an American actress based in London and Los Angeles. Wood was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.. When she was five her family moved to Palm Beach, Florida where she spent most of her childhood before moving to Atlanta, Georgia for her teenage and college years. She became interested in acting at a young age and began training when she was twelve years old. At the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Wood received a perfect study score in a Shakespeare Intensive and Acting Course. Wood was also the recipient of the 2016 Dina Merrill Scholarship at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles. In 2020, she received a BA in History from the University of Mississippi. In 2023, Wood received an MA in Text & Performance from Birkbeck University. Kalyn is passionate about acting and filmmaking and the power that storytelling can have in society. Kalyn’s debut directing film is ‘Screaming Silence’ (2024). She recently starred in ‘Undefile’ (2024), and soon can be seen in the film ‘Molar’ (2025).
Your film is entered in our Best Indie Awards. What is your film about?
‘Screaming Silence’, is a hauntingly enigmatic and dialogue-free short film. It follows Elizabeth, a young woman in the aftermath of a traumatic event, navigating her world through a haunting soundscape of everyday noises, which ‘peoples’ her world and forces her to face her reality of circumstances and her fear of reaching out for help. As the audience intimately experiences her journey, Elizabeth’s silence becomes a bittersweet force, echoing the profound emotional depth that empowers her to move forward in an altruistic twist of an ending. Its evocative silence allows the audience to experience and encounter the internal world of mental health and isolation.

What are your ambitions with your project?

To be honest, when I started this journey I had no real ambition with the film. I recently finished a Masters degree and text in performance in London, and with that I had to do a dissertation piece. I decided to do a short film, mainly because I know films. I know how to act in them, but I didn't know how to make one so I took on a huge collaborative effort and by huge I mean it was two people and we decided to make a film for my dissertation. I had no plans of doing anything with it. I just wanted to get a top mark and graduate with my Masters and continue my career, but what ended up happening was that I had about15 people in my life watch the film begging me to do something with it and then one of my friends Alba Kaufmann who is my producer on this asked me to send her the film and she asked if she could come on as the main producer. I was a bit shocked, but of course I said yes and still didn't know what I was going to do. When we sat down for meetings we
thought we should just start submitting it to film festivals and that’s when it all took off. The film itself is something that I didn't think I had in me. I always thought maybe I would be cast in something like this and I knew I could do it on the acting side, but I didn't know anything else about it, so when I had all this confidence from people who were close to me, but on thing to note is that I surround myself with people who are incredibly honest, so when we decided to take this and say okay, let's start submitting it to places, we were equally shocked when we started to get selections. Then when we started to be nominated for performance, producing, editing, and for sound design we were so overwhelmed with excitement. Like I said before we are our own self critics and sometimes our own worst enemy, so when the film started to be successful I questioned it. Mainly because I had seen it so many times, that by the 500th time of watching it I thought it wasn’t good enough. I guess you don't realize sometimes you need the inward self reflection or the self gratification from having people like your work because it does mean something. My heart behind the film was making something for myself and inadvertently it’s helping other people. I've had a lot of people come up to me at festivals during the screenings saying that they felt seen or they maybe can't relate to the situation in the film, but they could relate to the emotions of that character. One juror even said that, “this film is for everyone”. That is overwhelming with joy and so much emotion, because a film that is 17 minutes long, that has no dialogue in it can have that much of an effect. I think now that I look back on that, maybe that was my goal; to simply help people and that’s what I’m most proud of.
How was the shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
Shooting was amazing, but fast. Because of circumstances out of our control and scheduling issues we only had two and a half days to shoot. One of the things that pleasantly surprised me was how calm and confident I was throughout the whole thing. I never questioned anything. I went with my instinct the whole time. I was making something that was for me; a story I knew I could tell. Another thing that pleasantly surprised me and my co director Hal, was that that space we chose to shoot ended up being perfect. We knew we wanted little lighting. We wanted the shots to look harsh, so that the audience can really ‘be’ with the character. We shot in a little Air bnb in Bristol for two days and the setting was perfect.

For what target group is your film?
At first I would say women, but actually this film is for everyone. Some may not be able to directly relate to what happens in the film, but we have all felt some of the emotions the character goes through and I think that is special. One can either sympathize or empathize with the film.
How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
I would specify my work as boundary pushing, if that makes sense. I think that it breaks the mold of traditional storytelling. I think that the film pushes audiences to their limits of sitting with a character, almost begging for a release for the character and for themselves.

Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
I don't think I ever really sat and ‘decided’ to become a filmmaker. It sort of just happened. I knew the story I wanted to tell and I knew how I was going to do it. With amazing collaborators helping to guide me along the way, all of this happened and I couldn't be more grateful and excited for what is next.

Who is your greatest role model?
My late father and my mom who is still with us, if I can say two… I was raised by the two most amazing people I know. They have always supported me in everything that I do, while always being brutally honest in the most loving way. My parents taught me resilience and to believe in myself and what I have to contribute to the world. My dad was the hardest working person I have ever met. Even in his hardest times he would wake up everyday and choose happiness and remind me that ‘everyday is a great day’. Simple, but effective. Those words always grounded me back to the present, which is really all we have. I miss him, but I have his lasting legacy in my heart and I carry that with me everywhere I go. If there was one person in this world I would most like to be like, it’s him.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?
‘The Wizard of Oz’, because it's the first film I remember watching as a child. ‘Meet Joe Black’, a film I used to watch with my dad. ’All About Eve’, because of Bette Davis.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
I tend to look into real life. Telling the truth is our job as a filmmaker, whatever the truth may be for you and that story. People inspire me too. One of my favorite things to do is people watch and simply observe. I make up stories in my head as I see people pass me in the airport, or while I’m sitting at a cafe in London. I’m fascinated by how and why people act and make certain decisions in their life. So I guess life itself inspires me.

How would you rate current filmmaking?
I would rate my current filmmaking a 8.2/10. I tell stories that are truthful and have conviction. I don’t mind making people uncomfortable, if it helps them or makes them feel something. I love what I do and that’s what matters. I am constantly challenging myself and pushing myself to learn.

What are your next projects?
I will continue in the festival circuit with ‘Screaming Silence’. I also have another film, ‘Molar’ coming out this year.