Mike Plante, Short Film Programmer
Topaz Adizes is a man on a mission. An internationally award-winning filmmaker whose many shorts have screened all the over the world, he puts substance into his works. Typically, his films are shot with very basic elements and a free-form style, almost resembling low-budget documentaries. His actors are non-actors, cast specifically for the relation to the story and verisimilitude. He works to capture the crystallization of a cultural conflict within a single conversation. He will pit characters whose ethics and world views are naturally at odds with each other and create a situation in which the audience, as voyeurs, watch an uncomfortable, intimate debate play out realistically. In Trece Años, a Cuban émigré to the U.S. who earned his citizenship by coincidence returns home to visit his poverty-stricken family and a resentful brother.
If it’s existentialism with a sci-fi twist that you’re after, look no further than Chema Garcia Ibarra’s Protoparticles. A playful filmmaker concerned with investigating truthful situations within the realm of classic genre fiction, Ibarra’s clever but heartfelt meditations on individuals stuck in the middle of high concept plots has made him a two-time Sundance alum and a standout storytelling voice. If Protoparticles is to be believed then we can rest in the knowledge that the experiment was a success: protomatter exists! Unfortunately for one man, that has left him trapped in the past (our present) to live out his days, stuck in a spacesuit in need of parts that are years away from being invented, and far from the world he knows…