The other day, I stumbled upon a short animated speculative film called Sumer, a brief but satisfying tale of a desolate future, a boy, and the place that hope takes him. Directed by Alavaro Garcia, it has been showcased at more than 50 film festivals and, according to some sources, it has racked up several awards in the process (although I can’t seem to find a list of which awards, specifically, and IMDb.com only lists one nomination). Doesn’t matter — it’s worth watching with or without awards.
If you’re intrigued, here’s a description of Sumer from IMDb.com:
For unknown reasons, the Earth’s ionosphere has weakened dramatically during the course of the last century. All animal and plant species perished decades ago. All that remains is one small group of humans who attempt to resist the hostility and hardness of the external environment from SUMER, the last hive city in the world. A young boy, Hermes, lives alone close to the wall that delimits the city, an area that is highly guarded by the SSW (SUMER Security Watchers). While observing the desert from the roof of a building, Hermes suddenly sees something that looks a lot like a blue feather floating in the air…
Now, if you’re sold, you can watch below:
I’m not what you’d call a huge fan of short films, but Sumer intrigued me enough to check out some others. Consequently, I happened upon two Star Wars fan films that are quite good. One, called Rebel Scum, follows one of the Rebellion’s snow speeder pilots as he tries to escape the Empire and a frozen death in the aftermath of the battle of Hoth. The acting is a bit amateurish, but the special effects are pretty impressive for a fan film, and it has a nice twist. Also, kudos to the crew for enduring some seriously cold Canadian winter conditions while filming this.
The other, called Kara, focuses on an aging X-wing pilot and the young, gifted woman he’s escorting to a Rebel base. The acting is better in this one, and the special effects are beyond what is expected of a fan film. The desert setting, the costumes, and the spaceships are reminiscent of A New Hope, so it has the nostalgia factor going for it. But what sets Kara apart from the original trilogy (and in a good way) is the truly intimate fashion in which it is shot. The tight frames really help convey the relationship between the two main characters and the struggle Kara is enduring as she comes to terms with her powers. All it needed to bring it all together was some John Williams playing softly in the background.
Having found some good sci fi offerings, I’m now on the lookout for an equally impressive independent fantasy short film. If anyone has suggestions, please send them my way.