At its heart, Between the Folds is a film about potential. The potential of an uncut paper square. The potential of a wild scientific idea. The potential to see things differently.
For as long as I can remember, the driving impulses behind art, science, sculpture, and math have seemed deeply connected to me — they are all means of interpreting our experiences in a universal language. When I first learned about the curious phenomenon of fine artists, scientists, and mathematicians from all over the world working in the very same medium of origami, I knew there had to be something special about it: that in the simplicity of a square some untold potential for creativity and new ideas must be hiding.
As a documentary project, this film has been less about telling a story and rather about finding an idea — layers of ideas. Everyone involved in this project has been incredibly energized by the challenge of making a documentary film about ideas. All along, we knew its central themes would speak to different people in different ways, as any film about ideas should. Therefore, it was of great importance that its themes were presented subtly and flexibly, so that every viewer could experience the film in ways that were both universally resonant and personally meaningful.
For me, as a filmmaker, this has also been a project about transformation — not only of paper squares, but also of people and lives. Most of those featured in the film left traditional lives to devote themselves to the thing they love most — paper folding: the magical process of transforming two dimensions into three dimensions. And their remarkable stories resonated so strongly with me upon abandoning my own former work, that I was determined to bring their inspiring stories to light. And so, my devotion to this film rests in the hope that others take inspiration from these incredible stories of transformation as well. —Vanessa Gould
Vanessa Gould, Director
Vanessa Gould has studied a mix of science, art, theory, math, and design over the past two decades, including architecture and astrophysics at Columbia and music at the New England Conservatory. Between the Folds was a project born of great admiration for the artists and scientists working in paper, and the belief that their remarkable work should be documented and shared. She is also a pianist and painter.