3 Oct 2021
Jon Gutierrez, Zulekha Chaka, Holly Cattle, Kieran Slade
During a house party, a young student from Colombia receives a voice message from his family and interacts with other guests while attempting to listen to it.
Santi (Gutierrez) is a young Colombian student who is attending a social gathering at a house with his girlfriend Violet (Chaka). The home is filled with young people having a good time. Santi receives a message notification on his mobile phone, which is from his mother back in his home country. He excuses himself and tries to find a quiet place to listen to it. While doing so, he ends up talking to several other people.
This short drama is a proof for concept for a feature film writer and director Richards plans to make in the future.
The narrative deals with a man who seems to stand out of the crowd because he is a foreigner. He is nice and polite person and it is indicated that he is very close to his relatives. The story explores themes of cultural differences, family and relationships.
As the main character, Gutierrez is convincing as a foreign student and his character is well-explored, showing that he is a decent man although he does not seem to get along very well with others. His reaction to the voicemail suggests that he cares deeply for his family. The relatives' voices on the voicemail give the impression that they are friendly and love Santi very much. The rest of the cast also do a good job.
For the majority of the film, the atmosphere is kind of downbeat, with Santi being a bit awkward and not interacting well with others. Things become more uplifting when he finally getes to hear his message and a warm smile appears on his face.
Director of photography Oscar McNab delivers wonderful cinematography and there are interesting lighting techniques. Composer Tom Little creates a score that is gentle and mesmerizing.
This short film is a character study that focuses on a young man who has found himself in an environment he does not fully understand and as a result he does not feel comfortable being there. It is an example of some of the challenges people face when they are in foreign countries.