Currently we’re in the middle of the We Are One Film Festival, a free ten-day online festival that’s running exclusively on YouTube. The festival is running till the 7th June (started on the 29th May) and currently has a load of features, shorts and Q&A’s for people to watch that is co-curated by over twenty film festivals (including BFI London Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival as examples) and even if you miss the premiere screenings, the films will remain on the page duration the festival’s run for free in order to raise funds that will benefit COVID-19 relief funds. So I’ve spent the last hour watching a few of the short films that’s available at the moment and put my reviews for them below.
DIRECTED BY: Michael J. Goldberg
STARRING: Leah Henoch, Alex Anfanger, Kiersten Armstrong, Patrick Woodall, Aaron Schroeder, Caitlin McGee and Paul Seroka
An action-packed romance and Americana western adventure about an egg’s epic Hollywood journey from farm to table.
The latest short that I’ve watched from We Are One Film Festival is Michael J. Goldberg’s directorial debut Egg, where we are taken into a diner and seeing Jeff suffering through a date with Alana, as she’s too busy talking to him and not eating the egg on her plate and fork. Jeff’s mind begins to wonder and fantasises about the egg’s journey to the table and we see the visual of this Hollywood-esque tale of the egg making its way to the table. Like the rest of the shorts that are being screen on We Are One Film Festival, I went in completely blind so when Jeff begins to imagine the journey of the egg, my initial expectation was flipped in a minute of minutes (makes sense as the short is just under eleven minutes long) and it becomes a full-blown parody tale with some homages to Breaking Bad and The Usual Suspects, with a load of egg puns. The short wears its humour on its sleeve and doesn’t take itself too seriously but I don’t think the novelty will be remembered several months done the line.
Egg is a harmless attempt of a comedy short that kills time but it feels pretty forgettable already.
THE LIGHT SIDE
DIRECTED BY: Ryan Ebner
STARRING: Joseph Ragno and Tim Plewman
An aging Sith Lord must come to grips with his past and discover why humility may be the greatest force in the galaxy.
The Light Side is Ryan Ebner’s second short film (his previous being Meanamorphosis) that tells the story of a Sith Lord that is now stranded on Earth, having grown old he begins reflecting on his evil deeds and trying to readjust himself into this society and become a better person in the process…if he can. The Light Side brings Star Wars into this universe and as a concept, I actually like the idea of a Sith Lord trying to adjust his life and existence on Earth. I thought the physical performance by Joseph Ragno was good and I liked Tim Plewman’s voice acting as he does the narration as the Sith Lord. While the initial ‘How did they get away with this?’ question from my mind went away, I thought it had an interesting concept, some nice visual touches but would the short work without the Star Wars element being its major selling point? Probably not.
The Light Side has an interesting concept of bringing Star Wars into our reality and would like for it to be explored deeper in the future if possible.
DIRECTED BY: Marco Baldonado
STARRING: Rosa Forlando, Marco Baldonado, Justin Marci, Walter Woodman, Gabriela Francis, Mary Rose Sciarrillo and Simon Dragland
A 90-year-old Nonna falls in love with a robot while teaching it how to make spaghetti. Unfortunately, her family recipe is erased by a software update.
TOTO marks the directorial debut of Marco Baldonado, who voices the robot that is delivered to Nonna’s house and serves as an ode to her traditions as she catches TOTO cooking bolognese sauce. Impressed by the taste, she teaches TOTO her methods of how to make spaghetti, humanising him in the process. When her granddaughter arrives however, she doesn’t share the same enthusiasm to learning how to cook. As well as directing, Marco Baldonado co-wrote the script with Walter Woodman, and I for one like what they brought to the table here in highlighting that while technology is advancing, some of us are losing family traditions in the process, which is highlighted here by the relationship between Nonna and Santina. What’s even worse is that loneliness is erased for a brief moment of TOTO providing companionship for Nonna but once we learn the setbacks of TOTO’s programming updates, that lets the loneliness creep back in and just saddens you in the final moments of the film.
An interesting look at how the advancement of technology may make us loose sight of are traditions, and also just every once in a while actually check-in, sit and listen to those that we love.