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22 Years (Short Film)

Its no surprise the amount of emotional baggage divorce can bring a child: strained relationships, changed lifestyles, moments of self doubt and wondering who was to blame. In time, most are able to overcome these problems and go on to live full enriching lives as adults. But sometimes, these feelings are brought back to the surface.

This is the focus of 22 Years, a wonderful character based short film, directed by Fred Thomas Jr. and produced, conceived, and starring Dawn Noel as Avi Moreno, a young, independent woman on the rise, who is thrown for a loop when her estranged father, who she has not seen since her parents' divorce decades earlier, wants to meet.

Noel commands the screen, subtle and nuanced in her performance. Through simple facial expression and strong naturalistic dialogue, we are slowly drawn in and learn so much about her as we follow her along her journey of deciding whether or not she wants to have this meeting. In exploring Avi's life, we also see her relationships with friends, family, and co-workers, played by a rich supporting cast of actors like Kearran Giovanni, Luis Jose Lopez, and Roberto Sanchez.

The film is enriched even further by its technical side as director Thomas Jr. works with cinematographer Sean McDaniel and composer Mike McKnight to create bright colorful visuals and soft atmospheric music, that, when mixed together, become almost characters of their own.

Everything and everyone work together in such an organic and natural way to tell this slice of life story that if feels like could almost be a documentary as well. Nothing feels forced, false or needless added. Its simple, old fashioned filmmaking with new themes and new voices, something I haven't seen in a long time and was very happy to see again.

To see such skill and professionalism done on such a small budget, $5000, is inspiring and a sure sign that Dawn Noel, Fred Thomas Jr., and the rest of the team are filmmakers to keep an eye out for. I definitely will and look forward to their future work.

Definitely see it if you can!

4.8 stars out of 5.


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