Film festival programmers everywhere: Here’s a freebie.
Written by and co-starring Eddie Mujica, and directed and edited by Chris Sturgeon, Dreamer is everything a short film should be: insightful, surgical in its commentary, and … well, short.
When Juan (Darius De La Cruz) comes home from work to realize he’s been replaced by a whiter version of himself (Mujica), expected jabs at the undeniable blandness of white culture (read: chicken casserole and cross-stitching) give way to Black Mirror-esque world building facilitated by a nuanced attention to production design and stellar performances from De La Cruz, Mujica, Sara Amini, and one carne asada–loving neighbor played by Randall Harr.
So often, shorts fall short because they’re spawned by an impulse to “get something out there” rather than by an impulse to get something out there when it’s ready to be seen. Dreamer is an endorsement for those projects that don’t come from the spaghetti-against-a-wall filmmaking philosophy and are born from what is clearly a measured, message-driven desire to create and, more importantly, comment.
Does all this really mean Dreamer will enjoy success on the festival circuit? Well, every organization has its own criteria and it’s really hard to tell what will resonate with a selection committee and what won’t, but yes. Without a doubt. I’m calling it. Dreamer, and its kick-ass finale, is special.
Eddie and Chris, start working on those submissions.