The Vision Quest – Day Five at the Sarasota Film Festival

Day Five at the Sarasota Film Festival – Short Film Program # 4

I took in a Short Film called The Vision Quest. It clocked in at a rapid 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Written and directed by Andrea Sisson and Pete Ohs, though the film began and concluded quickly, the pace was leisurely.

The film was about two brothers, Wes and Dave, who are extremely near-sighted. That means they have trouble with anything that is further away than a few inches. We meet them as they stumble along in the country.

The film is in black and white, and has no audio dialogue. When the brothers speak we see text at the bottom of the screen. There is a musical soundtrack with instruments by Olafur Arnalds from Iceland and Charles Watson from London.

The brothers find they are in front of a wall – which is actually a farm’s barn. They decide to split so they can double their chances in the forage for food. One brother is able to find some twigs, and some glass, and so he fashions a pair of make-shift eye-glasses.

He’s amazed with his newly improved vision. So he decides to return to the field where his brother was foraging. But he’s tired and hungry. He lies down in the field and falls asleep. The other brother, purely by chance, stumbles upon him. And so they are re-united.

The one brother finds (by touch) the eye glasses. He tries them on, and just like the first brother, he is amazed by the glasses. He tells his reclining brother something like – These glasses. They’re amazing. You have to see them. And the answer is I know.

And at that point the film changes from black and white to color. Then the fade to black and the credits.

That’s it. The b&w will remind you of films from long ago as will the text cards. The natural lighting is unusual and is a strong point, as is the framing of the subjects. The camera never rushes, and this makes for a solid impact.The story as it appears on-screen is not complex at all – but obviously, there are meanings to what we see. I took away such concepts as:

Love thy brother, the act of sharing is its own reward, and good things come to those with hope and perseverance. While I didn’t see this fable as having a religious undertone, clearly we are to take away something deeper than the visuals.

The film makers have been showing the film at some festivals, and the co-directors have been chosen for inclusion in Film Magazine’s 25 Faces for 2013.While this short film was produced for a small amount of money, it is not meant to be money-maker. Rather it is an example of what creative minds can do with a miniscule budget. I wish them well.

The film was produced by Lauren Edward. Below find the link to the website.