Genre: Short, Drama, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Peter Hoffman Kimball
Writer(s): Peter Hoffman Kimball
Cast: Daniel Durant, Bellamie Bachleda, Eddie Buck
Language: American Sign Language (with English subtitles)
Where To Watch: Available virtually during the Slamdance Film Festival or for more information, please visit Don't Matter Media's Website
RAVING REVIEW: Thankfully, my film year is from Oscars to Oscars because this will easily make my favorite films of the year. I was honored to watch this in 2022, even though its rollout will be mainly in 2023.
Daniel Durant may look familiar if you saw last year's Oscar-winning film CODA. Although in this short film, all three main actors perform incredibly. What this movie means is something that is genuinely missing from cinema today. This was a unique experience, made that much better because it was an incredible film. While hopefully, one day, we can look at a movie shot entirely in American Sign Language (ASL) as something in the same vein as an International film, we’re not quite there yet.
I could go on and on about how groundbreaking this 16-minute film was. Instead, I would like to focus more on the movie itself, the film stars an all-deaf cast, but unlike CODA, the movie wasn’t about deafness. That, in part, is what made for such a unique experience; as I mentioned above, the ultimate goal will be to one day have films just listed as ASL instead of being a point of emphasis.
Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the film, but I was pretty on board with what I thought would happen after a few minutes. Then a wave hit, and the entirety of my understanding went overboard in the best way possible. This was a substantial and powerful experience, the twist in the film was so shocking and so unexpected that I don’t even feel it’s a spoiler by saying that because you won’t have any idea what it is or when it’s coming.
It amazes me when I watch a short like this; the amount of story that someone can fit into 16 minutes is mind-boggling. With a clear path, you can create an impressive story with a powerful impact. I suggest screening this virtually at the Slamdance Film Festival. If not, check out their website to see when the film will be available to the public.
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[photo courtesy of DON'T MATTER MEDIA]