Nova Road (Written by Michelle Brown) (Directed by Ashton Bracciodieta)
Plot : This rural country road is known for more tragedies due to drag racing than anywhere else in the country. Local urban legends tell us it’s something else. What really happens on Nova Road? Based on a true story. (from IMDB)
Thoughts From The Popcorn Gallery:
Being invited to a new film with a first time director, unknown actors and a new writer is always a hit or miss. Mix that with almost an entire cast of kids and you got a recipe for disaster, that is unless you hit the casting lotto and your director hits one out of the park. Getting to the premiere you had a great atmosphere with parents and kids excited to see the film they all worked hard on. So the film opens up with a young girl being discovered alone at the side of the road, by her appearance she looks as if she was in an accident of some sort. The couple who discover her are distressed and call for help; as they do the young girl slowly turns toward the camera and smiles a scary smile. What a great start to this short film! We are then introduced to 2 young teenagers on the beach (Riley played by Madison Guthrie) and (Chris played be Tyler Perez), and instantly I smile because not only is the cinematography good but so is the sound and acting. Anyone who has shot on the beach knows that the wind can be hell to your sound, yet this sound is clean and perfect. As the film progresses, the story about Nova Road starts to open up. Chris and Riley, now in their car, drive down Nova Road, and they come across a girl stranded on the side of the road. As they pull over, the screen cuts to black and we find Riley, now along the middle of the road, bloodied with a strange mark on her wrist and her brother missing. From there we learn that there are many deaths and strange disappearances on Nova Road, The police are frustrated and feel the kids were drag racing or horsing around at the time of their accident. For Riley she just wants to know what happen to her brother and how that stretch of road has something to do with all of it. What Director Ashton Bracciodieta does with this short film shows his understanding of suspense and editing. Cinematographer Daniel Guadalupe and Composer Uriah Ocean Peterson did a great job capturing Ashton’s vision. Working with young actors can be tough, but Michelle Brown’s script captures their dialogue perfectly and Ashton’s direction really brought out their best. Now, it’s not a perfect film, as there are a few out of focus shots and few week performances, however, this is not enough to really take away from the film. The script needed a little bit more polishing but nothing to really complain about as this film is a short that is being pitched for a feature, which gives them time to finesse the script. In the end, the film leaves us on a cliff hanger that has me hoping they can raise the funds to do the feature. There were some good standouts in this film, namely Madison Guthrie, who’s performance really took the film to the next level and director Ashton Bracciodieta, who is someone to look out for in the future.
Over all the film gets a sold B-