A few days after A24 (the studio behind Moonlight, American Honey, and 20th Century Women) pushed out a pulsing trailer for a mystery Untitled project, some observant Film Stage readers identified the footage. It's called Toru, a short film headed to Sundance directed by Jonathan Minard and Scott Rashap. In the trailer, between alternating images of an Asian couple and a white teen, title cards read: "Beyond reality, realize feeling, Feel bare, Bear witness, Witness Change, Change identity, Identify questions, Question life, Live beyond." Sundance's synopsis isn't as cryptic: “An infant’s life is transformed by a new technology.” During production in Massachusetts, Wicked Local posted a more detailed summary: "Toru centers on the story of a baby boy, named Toru, born with a fatal lung condition. As he only has a few days to live Toru’s parents sign him up for a trial experiment that would simulate a full life in a matter of days. The film follows Toru’s dream-like life simulation as a boy named Todd growing up in a New England suburb, and concludes in futuristic Japan." The short is 14 minutes long and in Japanese with English subtitles. The trailer's images are stunning — the teen lies motionless on a bed, the adult woman sheds a single tear, and something that looks like an AI pod is suspended in air. Add this to your list of Sundance must-sees.
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