RESCUE HEART by Tane McClure is a 99-page script that starts with Nina, a Native American young woman who got regretfully involved in a dog-fighting business by her drug and firearm dealer boyfriend James Savin, attending one last dog fight before deciding that she wants to escape from a life she doesn’t want anymore.
However, Nina can’t seem to be able to leave one of Savin’s most abused dog behind and decides to set him free. Unsure what to do with his newly found freedom, the dog decides to follow the woman on what will become a journey that will lead to her physical and spiritual freedom.
The dog is a perfect metaphor of Nina’s desire to earn back love and respect for herself and for her mother – left in the Navajo reservation long before trying to make a “better life” for herself – and to accept the companionship of Charlie, a surfer she stumbles upon during her escape.
An effective narration, where well written action scenes leave room for many moments to stop and appreciate the nature, the ocean and the simple relationship between a young woman and her rescue dog.
The dialogues are powerful and articulate, giving the script a fast yet steady pace.
All in all, a beautiful story that leaves the reader wondering: what would I have one in that situation?
WIRED by Edward Galloway is a 146-page script about Ladarius, an American young student and football athlete whose life gets disrupted by the sudden death of his father Jack, also an American football player. The connection they had thanks to their shared passion, to the competition, and to Ladarius's efforts trying to break Jack's touchdown records will make the loss even more painful.
Ladarius will have to cope with his pain, and he will lean on the love of his friends, his girlfriend Sarah, his mother Mary, and the help of a doctor, whose presence in the story carries an important message for the audience.
The new element that Galloway brings into his story is the touching presence of Jack that stays in his football helmet after he dies and that Ladarius finds in the attic.
The metaphor is clear but not trivial. It's adorable and makes it easy for the reader to share Ladarius's feelings and relief. Who wouldn't want to hear their beloved's voices even after they're gone? It's not random that Jack's presence is inside something that he used to wear in life, and that was the connection point with his son.
The beautiful plot is developed in a perfect structure. The first act is a little over twenty pages, but considering the length of the script doesn't lose the pace nor makes the rhythm feel irregular. The third act circularly ends the script (narrator - Ladarius voice-over), respecting the element of fairytale delivered by the plot.
Given the care and gentleness with whom the author touches such important themes, it wouldn't be off if the script was developed on the screen as a cartoon.
It would be one of those simple but profound stories that stay in the audience's mind for a long time.
In David Anderson's short movie, a man walks through the City of Minneapolis. Everyone in the world, after George Floyd's murder, knows Minneapolis.
Or at least they know that it is a city in the United States of America, more precisely in the State of Minnesota (easy to remember since the two names share the same initials).
But what else do people know?
Anderson tried to show some of the City, which he probably cares about, but without removing what happened from what he offers.
As if what happened didn't make it the same City as before, as its citizens are no longer the same. In fact, the whole world is no longer the same after what happened. Minneapolis was the starting line of a protest that involved the entire world.
And it's worth a short film and much more.
The Truth Serum by Martin Zitter is a feature script that tells the story of musician and music professor Dmitry's adventures between Russia, Switzerland, and San Francisco, during the Cold War.
Zitter didn't write the typical movie about regular citizens used by the KGB as spies, which is one reason for its value.
After brief suspense in the introduction, the first act follows the rules of comedy. The beginning of Dmitry's journey in the US as a Russian spy is funny and helps the reader get deep into the story. When the worst seems to go to happen, the plot gets twisted.
The characters are very well developed, especially Gloria and Jim. Even Dmitry's wife, Natalya, is powerfully written. After a brief appearance in the first act, she comes back with an important role that brings to the script a value addition (despite her having fewer scenes, she is a doctor and not only Dmitry's wife and mother of his kids).
The structure is tidy and bare of useless description moments. The constant switching of locations doesn't leave space for boredom, and when you keep reading the script and read "fade out," you want to make sure you haven't accidentally skipped some lines. The pace is so fast that the reading goes smoothly, and it never slows down, which helps provide a great reading experience.
Last but not least, Zitter knows how to use the screenwriting tools to make the audience wish to see his story on screen, to see what face Dmitry, Natalya, Gloria, Tanya, and all the rest of the characters might have. Do they match with the reader's imagination? This is a question that is asked while reading great books, so there's no doubt this screenplay is worth the next step.
Written and directed by Nicholas Carrodo
When a good plot, acting, soundtrack, and editing merge, the result is nothing but fantastic.
The Door by Nicholas Carrodo, written by Carrodo along with Skye Cruz and produced by Ella Evans, is a 12-minutes short movie with a precise and perfectly developed plot that is usually a challenging task to accomplish when it comes to short films, as it is not easy to follow the first act, second act, third act rule in such a short time.
The Door respects this screenwriting rule.
First comes the introduction of the two protagonists (Chris and Neil, played by Isaiah Morales and Romeo Sanchez), two brothers that had just had to face a substantial loss.
They hang out in the woods chasing a deer and talking, and they still don’t know that there is way more than a deer waiting for them.
Trenton, played by a great Sean Riehm, will change their plans forever.
It would be nice to develop the plot into a full-length movie, given that the entire team of The Door did an excellent job. The story opens to several possibilities that embrace different genres, making it possible for this short movie to begin a long journey.
A SHOT FOR FREEDOM is a feature script written by Italian screenwriter Giuseppe De Vuono and it tells the adventures of the young Cape Verdean João Mendes, son of a fishing family.
João will have to fight to overturn a destiny already written and signed by his father, who wants him to carry on the family business. But the real dream of the young protagonist is fencing, and this is the first element that makes the plot of this screenplay an original work.
But not only.
Storyline B, which, however, is not secondary, is João's love for Cesária, for whose love he will have to fight against the hateful Tyago, whose being hateful makes it a very well-written antagonist.
The second act, which follows a perfectly developed first act, makes the script eventful and very original. The events, which will transform the young protagonist into a complete modern hero, follow one another quickly and help never make the reading boring.
Another fundamental element is De Vuono's writing: the details are described in detail but are never excessive or useless. The iconographic hints and the indications of actions and intentions are told through pre-dialogue brackets that help not burden the space reserved for the actions field and do not affect the rhythm of reading. They are clear and grammatically always punctual, and they smoothly guide the mind through the scenes.
On a technical level, the script shows itself as the work of a professionally mature author who moves with agility between the specifics of American screenwriting.
All these elements make it enjoyable to scroll through the 119 pages of the script, and it's easy to become passionate about the journey of the hero João and his multiple co-stars, who at this point we hope to see on the big screen as soon as possible.
It's a story that deserves to take life, maybe with nice photography and a soundtrack full of warm colors that are typical of the beautiful island of Cape Verde.
From the first scene of FIVES, Alan Cameron (director, writer, editor, and producer) grabs you and takes you there, in a post-apocalyptic world that we have often seen but rarely with this flawless quality.
From the first images, the mind goes straight to one of the worlds imagined by Robert Kirkman, albeit, in this case, there's more poetry.
FIVES replaces the "Tarantinian" roughness, sometimes comic, used by Nicotero in Kirkman's works with the poetry of mysterious yet neat writing, in which every little detail makes sense. The iconography linked to the title is a fascinating symbolic choice that strikes and attracts.
Bryant Daugherty's monologue warms the cold photography typical of the world's end. He manages to tell a lot about the character's psychological condition without falling into the easy trap of sentimentality. Although he talks with the dead, he still has hope and life inside him. And it makes you want to join him on his journey. Whether it's in Georgia's coniferous woods or a barren state of the South, it's a journey that you'd like to be the longest possible.
The 3D is clean and retains the poetry we've talked about so far. It offers an enemy who, despite his undoubted lethality, does not fall into ridicule or comic but rather preserves a humble aesthetic form to make the antagonist very realistic—therefore creating an even bigger feeling of precariousness.
The soundtrack (Arnaud Drieu) is just perfect.
FIVES is one of those hero's journey that would be worth living to the full, perhaps in a serial structure, since this film of only sixteen minutes has all the characteristics to last for years, without ever being boring.
Congratulations to the cast and crew for creating a product worthy of the most remarkable productions, with love and dedication that can be felt from the first to the last image on the screen, including the credits.
"JOHN VAN HAMERSVELD CRAZY WORLD AIN'T IT" is a tribute to the art of John Van Hamersveld and a tribute to the fantastic world of surfing.
The documentary opens with the definition of the concept of Art by some witnesses of John Van Hamersveld's works: Artists and professionals from the world of surfing themselves. "Being an artist is being brave (Jim Fitzpatrick), it's a process (Nina Palomba), it's making mistakes and learn from them (Gary Wong), it's doing what you love and why you love it (Shplinton), it's living and breathing (Jeff Ho), it's believing in what you are doing (Carol Caroompas) ".
Since the creation of record covers in the 1960s and 1970s, John Van Hamersveld's vision has often also filled the void created by the lack in some cities of museums, representing the materialization of the elevation of design and illustrations in popular culture. Rock culture, psychedelic culture, car culture, surfing, John's work is unaffected by time, remaining contemporary year after year, decades after decades. And he definitely contributed to making the world of surfing even closer to the world of art, becoming a point of reference and union of both worlds.
The documentary is about ten minutes long. The photography is sharp, clean but at the same time intense. The soundtrack follows the film with consistency. The interviews are carefully chosen and never superfluous, handled with great awareness. The pace is fast, the writing flows smoothly reminding the movement of the surfboard on the waves (massively present without being heavy).
Great teamwork by Andrew Van Wyk and Adam Cude as authors, the directors Christopher Sibley and Dave Tourje.
Tourje is also the producer along with Ariana Capriotti.
Together, they made us discover such an important and representative artist through a documentary that does not present flaws.
THE FUNERAL, a short film by Sara Eustáquio who wrote it, directed it, and edited it, is just over four minutes long but leaves a lot to dwell on.
Four guys, two girls, and two boys are on a roof. They smoke and drink under the stars, which are not there as a romantic kind of frame but seem to be there to watch them, and judge them. As a mirror maybe, or as an audience that already knows the show. Are these four young guys going to be as good as all the other people that came before them?
One girl of the four guides the audience through her inner monologue. It's the night of her metaphorical funeral, in which she would like to feel all the possible feelings, with the hope of finding answers to understand how to grow.
A fear that unites all young people on the verge of the "turning point", which destabilizes and terrifies, which causes the same pain of the death of someone beloved.
But that night no one has died. Or maybe someone actually has, since it hurts so much? Is growing up death and rebirth? Is there the detachment of another umbilical cord, metaphorical this time? Or is it always us, who change fluidly?
A fear that the author feels and shares with the audience in a real way, all the way in, through the warm and beautiful voice-over of Olivia Michael.
Luis Simas created a perfect soundtrack, which helps to create intimacy in this brief yet powerful stream of consciousness, universally understandable.
Written and directed by Sven Oliver Kuerten
DOSE, written and directed by Sven Oliver Kuerten, is a short film that could not be more in line with the contemporary worldwide situation.
Doctor Berg (played by Cihan Palabyik) must find a cure that appears to be of an urgent need for the German government. Pressed by the army, Berg, who tests his experiments on mentally unconscious patients, finds himself at a crossroads. How far can he go to pursue his goals? And above all, can a career and a professional oath ignore personal feelings and relationships?
In a social context like today's, in which we all find ourselves in a situation of constant uncertainty, this short film makes us dwell on priorities and on whether or not we did a good job as humanity so far. It does not need to resort to common tricks of the genre it belongs to. The subject and the script are enough to shake and scare the audience.
The direction is very good, as well as writing, photography (Yuriy Chubenko), continuity (Rosanna Puzzo), and acting (Roberto Puzzo -also producer, Andrea Karten, Luenya Santiago).
The soundtrack (David Klemencz) is perfectly consistent with the script. The scenography couldn't be more suitable.
A short movie that in just ten minutes still manages to respect the rules of writing and it's undoubtedly produced with awareness and mastery.
Written by Francesco Nuzzi
LIFE IS COMPLICATED is a short script written by Francesco Nuzzi and based on the works of Barbara Becker Holstein.
As the title itself foretells, what happens in a couple's life when something doesn't go as planned? When something gets "complicated"? Is the couple solid enough to withstand a painful and unexpected event? Hannah and Adam, a well-established young couple, find themselves facing a difficult existential moment that has put a strain on their relationship. As often happens, Hannah seeks comfort in her partner. On the opposite, men tend to face pain by closing in on themselves. And indeed so does Adam.
It will be a day at her parents' house, and the comfortable presence of her longtime friend Angela, to help Hannah figure out whether or not it's worth fighting to keep her relationship alive.
Just like her parents that are about to move out of the house that saw Hannah become a woman, Hannah too finds herself having to go through a major change, be it the permanent separation from her husband or a new promise of commitment to make things work.
Sometimes, in relationships and life in general, the only thing it takes to get the answer we're looking for is to take a step back, look at reality from afar, listen to the voices of those who have seen us grow, and hope that on the other side there is someone willing to understand and appreciate the effort it takes to fix the pieces of a "broken precious plate". Because, as Francesco Nuzzi and Barbara Becker Holstein write in their well-paced and well-conceived script, "it - always - takes two to tango".
Directed by Luca Machnich
The short movie THE EVE by Luca Mechanic opens by informing that "the dream and hallucination colors are based on Max Lusher’s theory of psychological meanings of colors".
The color test invented by Max Luscher in 1949 is based on the assumption that the preference shown towards each color and the reactions that this provokes in the subject change according to individuals and moments. The test contains eight colors: the 4 basic colors (red, yellow, green, and blue) and 4 auxiliary colors (purple, brown, gray, and black).
Used by psychologists, teachers, and doctors, the Lüscher test can be used by everyone with excellent results.
This means that we know from the very beginning that this horror movie is going to be set on the psychological patterns.
The film begins with the opening credits alternated with images shot in a mall during the Christmas holidays (symbol of contemporary consumerism). The camera runs through the mall very quickly and stops only in front of an antique cuckoo clock held by a child's hands. The clock keeps time until it falls and breaks. Then again the mall, the presents, and on contrast the hands of a child who writes a letter to Santa Claus.
The soundtrack here has childish and fairytale sounds until the director takes us inside the child's house where something starts to be off as the Christmas balls that roll from the tree towards us suggest, providing foreshadowing an idea of danger and chain reaction (very nice close-up of one of the Christmas balls which, taking possession of the whole field of view, resembles a planet).
From the shopping center, we get to the house. From the outside, we arrive inside, from the appearance to the substance. All the good intentions of a magical Christmas are sucked into reality, an unhappy reality that pushes the child to take refuge in a dream, where Santa Claus arrives to tear him away from the pain and take him into a world of toys and serenity.
The colors follow the feelings of the protagonists and act as a true soundtrack. The stark contrast between the bright, decked house that is shown from the outside and the blurred and almost confused colors that characterize the interior of the house is used as the visual aspect of the film's theme. Once inside, unrest is felt. The characters seem deliberately little involved in the story, almost wanting to represent that the problem of domestic unhappiness is universal. The actors are then more storytellers than interpreters as if the house they are in were everybody's home. Because everyone, from the outside, apparently seems happy. But inside?
Beautiful special effects and illustrations and good all the technical departments directed by Luca Machnich that did a great job on his first-time director work.
Directed by Sophia Romma
“There’s not a poor jew. They control media, show business, airlines”. "Chinese are everywhere, taking everything". These are two of the lines of the beginning of the experimental movie USED AND BORROWED TIME by Sophia Romma.
The imprint is therefore clear since the very beginning. Racism and bias are the themes of the movie, eviscerated through a deep plot that tells the story of the blind Eva Gold (portrayed as young by the very good Emily Seibert and as old by the amazing Cam Kornman).
Eva is a Jew that as a young girl fell in love with an African American young boy back in the sixties, during the segregation laws. When she is around 70 years old, she travels back in time and meets herself right during her love story.
The writer and director Sophia Romma jumps back and forth in the tale using a bridge that links two historical periods but that is both times compromised by racism, whether it's about Jews or African Americans, or Chinese people. But she never leads the audience too far away from the sets that she’s decided to use. This choice provides an atmosphere of claustrophobia that compels the audience to stay tight on the words, on the racist, deliberately awful, lines that the antagonists pronounce. Even the unusual length of the movie seems on this goal. Intent totally and successfully achieved.
It might sound like a regular drama movie, but the use of illustrations that appear on the screen unexpectedly, the length, and the stationary direction and filmography, makes it definitely an experimental work, as the director and writer herself said.
So the writing and the acting are the most important compartments and they did not fail. Besides the two protagonists that we’ve already cited, we urge to mention the amazing Grant Morenz, who portrays Wade Woods, an unbearable and racist uncle.
Also incredible is the job made by Alex Voronin for the sound, that doesn’t fail once, despite the very long length of the movie.
There’s not a real soundtrack, but an amazing band (Queen Ilise, Gabriel Lawson, Travis Milner, Larry Ross, King Beat) that walks the audience during the story, almost like if it was an external spectator of the pain of the actors.
The warm and perfect voice of Queen Ilise caresses the characters kindly and represents an additional element that seals this movie as an experimental work.
Directed by Andrés Ricaurte and Martín Agudelo Ramírez
UN CAMINO PARA TOMÀS (A WAY FOR TOMÁS), directed by Andrés Ricuarte and Martín Agudelo Ramírez, tells the journey of a man in his past.
The metaphor is clear from the very beginning thanks to the remarkable use of colors (only green, white, and black) that show images of rare beauty.
The film opens with the protagonist Tomás (portrayed by Sergio Dávila Llinás) walking in a forest. The photography (signed by Mateo Londoño) is predominant and recalls a painting by Thomas Wilmer Dewing.
We are in the present, for whose story is strangely chosen a cold tone. Step by step Tomàs goes into the woods and at the same time into his past, which instead is told in warm tones, actually coherent with the emotions that stimulate him.
And again thanks to the masterful photography we jump from Dewing to the dazzling colors of Frida Khalo in which red, white, and green form the background of Tomás as a child, and fade into the memory of Tomás as a teenager who lives the memory and promises of his first love, where we return to softer colors.
The dialogues are direct, clean, they seem to recall small monologues, deliberately disconnected from the 'question and answer' system but more like a flow of consciousness that is unique for each character. This happens until we return to a painting by Frida, with Tomás's mother (Carolina Ramírez) who acts as a mirror, as a revelation of truth exposed like a " beautifully decaying" bride in front of the flame of a fireplace (a scene in which we can also appreciate the amazing costume design by Laura Vallejo).
Tomás was looking for answers, but as often happens in the face of a confrontation with those who brought us into the world, therefore in the rawest and pure comparison, one comes up with further questions. And the author himself (Martín Agudelo Ramírez), in fact, leaves us in front of the question previously posed by Edgar Allan Poe: "Are we in a dream within a dream?"
To season this "little" visual masterpiece is the music of the rising band La Banda Del Bisonte, which with soft rock notes caresses Tomàs and the audience during his journey, demonstrating together with the whole cast and all the crew of this film how alive, active, and rich is Latin American artistic production (and in this specific case the Colombian one).