top of page

SWEETEST VACATION
REVIEWS

SWEETEST VACATION: Overview -MediaKit - Accolades - Gallery - ReviewsFFF Interview - Website - Platform - Press - Tour

world premiere reaction 10/19/22
INLAND EMPIRE AUDIENCE FAVORITE

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

SWEET2022FPQ0448e34469544d968aaf9105b358317f.png
Wallachia1SelectLaurel2023DownloadFF.jpg

Wallachia International Film Festival REVIEW
Bucharest, Romania

Sweetest Vacation (2022, Ryan Stevens Harris)


We are thrilled to announce the addition of Ryan Stevens Harris' comedy, experimental short film titled "Sweetest Vacation" to the official selection of the upcoming #WallachiaIFF #WallachiaIFF.

 

This special project holds significance as it was developed during the demanding 48 Hour Film Project, requiring Ryan and his team to write and produce a short film within a two-day timeframe. Despite the challenge, the result is a remarkable piece of work, exhibiting excellent cohesion and performances.

The Film takes audiences on a wild journey, delving into a hallucinatory experience triggered by a potent edible. These cookies were freely available, leading a curious guest to take a bite, setting off a series of chaotic events. The script showcases a well-structured narrative, commencing with the protagonist wandering near the hotel, consumed by feelings of disorientation and paranoia. Through a series of bewildering encounters, the audience discovers that the protagonist's desire to sample the cookie is the catalyst behind these bizarre occurrences. This clever narrative device generates tension and proves to be an effective tool, particularly in shorter formats like this film, which runs under 6 minutes.

Beside the story and Ryan’s directorial approach to it, Phillip E. Walker, the main actor, did an outstanding job. With every subtle gesture and nuanced expression, Walker effortlessly conveys a range of emotions, pulling the audience deeper into the character's world and inner fears.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the entire team behind this remarkable short film. Their dedication and hard work in bringing this project to life deserves high praise and recognition!

#filmreview #48hourschallange #film @15philreel

Star2Logo2023IMDb.jpg

Star Int. Film Festival
REVIEW - cont.
Firenze, Italy

"Sweetest Vacation" takes viewers on an imaginative and whimsical journey through the mind, blending elements of dark comedy and fantasy. Directed by Ryan Stevens Harris, an award-winning filmmaker known for his creative vision, this short film showcases his talent for crafting unique and thought-provoking stories.

The film centers around an elder, portrayed by the skilled actor Phillip E. Walker, who embarks on an unexpected adventure after consuming cannabis-infused cakes. As the cannabis takes effect, the elder finds himself transported to a different world, where two girls sold him this cake now appear as enigmatic visitors to a hotel in his thoughts. What follows is a series of encounters with people he recognizes from his own life, but with altered roles and identities.

The blend of fantasy and reality in "Sweetest Vacation" is captivating, as the elder attempts to navigate this new world while grappling with his own fears and uncertainties.

Harris skillfully creates a sense of unease and mystery, as the elder seeks solace in the hotel lobby, engaging in a profound conversation with himself. The line between perception and hallucination becomes increasingly blurred, adding depth to the narrative and keeping the audience guessing.

One of the film's highlights is the portrayal of the sneaky salesgirls who orchestrated the elder's hallucinatory experience. With enthusiasm and mischief, they watch his reactions and invite other unsuspecting individuals to indulge in their pastries. This adds a layer of dark humor to the story, contrasting the elder's apprehension with the delight of those under the influence.

Harris's expertise in both filmmaking and editing shines through in "Sweetest Vacation." Having studied filmmaking in London and at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, his passion and artistic sensibility are evident in every frame. His previous works, including an animated music video featured at the SXSW Film Festival and collaborations with major studios like Lionsgate and Netflix, showcase his versatility and talent.

The film's visual aesthetics are particularly noteworthy, with Harris opting to shoot on 35mm film stock with vintage lenses for a lush and immersive experience. This choice adds a timeless quality to the visuals, enhancing the dreamlike nature of the story and allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in the elder's journey.

In conclusion, "Sweetest Vacation" is a mind-bending and captivating short film that explores the intersection of fantasy and reality.

With Ryan Stevens Harris at the helm, this dark comedy fantasy takes viewers on a thought-provoking romp through the mind, challenging perceptions and leaving a lasting impression. From the expertly crafted visuals to the nuanced performances, this film is a testament to Harris's talent as a filmmaker and storyteller.

"Sweetest Vacation" is a must-watch for those seeking a unique and memorable cinematic experience.

BeyondBorder1Logo2023Email.png

Beyond Borders International Festival
West Bengal, India

Do You Want To Take a Trip To A Lonely Island Lost in a Foggy Sea?

The Sweetest Vacation is a mini short film that has two innocuous words in its title- sweetest and vacation. And as a reviewer of this 5-minute film, I have to agree that they are successful in making these two words exciting. However, the film is not a guide to turn your next vacation sweet and happening, but it’s a funny take on how that ‘sweet’ thing can turn your vacation fun as well as bizarre. Wondering what that ‘sweet’ thing is? Well, I can’t tell you that here because then it would be a spoiler. However, I think if you take just 5 minutes from your busy schedule, you’ll enjoy it.

Although it has a funny ending, I believe the film has shown the ill-effects of consumerism. We live in a time when everything can be bought and sold. If you’ve money, you can access almost anything. However, this film doesn’t give any lectures on the ills of consumerism. The film was shot in America where the liberties of consumers is very high compared to other parts of the world. In different parts of the world, some things are still illegal which are legal in America. This film is the story of that illegal thing.

The short is a suspense-comedy genre. If you like suspense, you’ll definitely enjoy it. The film is seamless, irrespective of being just 5 minutes. It stays with you for some time. You’ll ponder about it after watching and definitely would love to talk about it with your friends. When the protagonist of the film thrusts into a different world, you’ll start contemplating doing the same thing. Even if you’re not from America, it will definitely amuse you. The film won’t bore you for sure.

The main protagonist of this film, known in the film as Sir, is a middle-aged man who finds himself alone at a place that he can’t recognize. Philip E. Walker played the role of Sir who uses his face excellently to express that he is at an unknown place. His blue color suit indicates he comes from a well-to-do background but somehow he is lost in between. One thing that caught my attention is his untidy beard. This is the sign that he is in a different world which he can’t recognize. At the end of the film, you’ll be able to understand what causes that untidiness. What causes that delusion is the crux of the short. In other roles, Margaret Newborn, Daniela Lugo, Jacquetta Green and Vincent J Isaac are also good. However, it is Mark Chinnery, playing the role of Michael Ronco, who stands out from the rest. His nonchalant attitude makes the character intriguing and interesting.

The director of the film, Ryan Steven Harris is successful in creating a world that may be new to a few of you. It is evident that he wanted to tell a simple story in a simple manner. The way he created his worlds is also very fascinating. Whether the story is autobiographical or not, I don’t know. But you can sense that the writer knew about the experiences that Sir went through in the film. The DoP, Franklin Whitlatch. has done an exceptional job in a few scenes. The first scene of the film is absolutely fascinating. The way he used close-up shots is really fascinating. The sound-design of the film is also very interesting as we can hear a host of different tunes throughout the film. One thing that caught my attention is the use of colors. Ryan has used bright colors to make the ‘sweetest’ thing more prominent.

Interestingly, the film uses a prop, a toy owl, in a very clever way. It seems like a logo of an unknown world. Talking about an unknown world, not everyone in the film is simple and trustworthy like Sir, our protagonist. People have different ideas to put Sir in problem. There are a whole bunch of people who try to misguide Sir for their own interest. There is a scene in the film where Sir meets his own self and is still unable to trust that person. I believe the film tries to address the mental health issue in a very candid manner where Sir starts projecting people and starts behaving like a mad man. However, Sweetest Vacation is a nice movie to watch..

yourself.

Certificate8Divine2023QuoteIncredibleSV.jpg

Divine Film Awards of Greece
Athens

Sheet2Arabian2023QuoteSweetestFantasySV.jpg

Arabian Film Excellence Awards

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Certificate7Dona2023QuoteSV.jpg

Dona Paula
International Film Awards

India

Odyssey1Logo2023FF-Crop.jpg

Odyssey Script & Film Festival
Lisboa, Portugal

“INTRIGUING”

Wave1Logo2023FF.jpg

New Wave International Film and Script Festival
Berlin, Germany

"CINEMATIC ESCAPADE"

Certificate7Prize2023QuoteSV-IMDb.jpg

International Cinema Prize
Thiruvananthapuram, India

Belgrade1Logo2023FF.jpg

Belgrade International Film Festival
Thimphu-Tsirang, Bhutan

“Sweetest Vacation” by Ryan Stevens Harris is a trippy comedic short film that contains a single scene with a person having a bad trip. Or is it a good one?

To be honest, I was confused. I feel like the director was trying to achieve that goal, and it worked. Confusion goes throughout the entire film, and the idea of a person having a bad trip comes right around the end. Hopefully, this short film could be a scene from a bigger project, which would provide more answers.

Camerawork indeed works with the story: certain shots felt confusing because there were out of focus. This concept flows incredibly with the concept. The same way locations work for the story’s benefit: there are either grimy or extremely saturated, just like any trip would be.

However, the humor is subtle and slips pretty much under the radar. I am a big fun of smooth unnoticed humor, but it was extremely hard to find such irony or satire in it. Although, this is my personal opinion, and comedy is super subjective.

Overall, Sweetest Vacation shows great skills Ryan has he can tell a story, create visual approach to it and fulfill his idea. I wish nothing but the best to him in his future projects.

Micheaux1Logo2023-Artboard1.png

Micheaux Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION
Los Angeles, CA USA

.Dear Phillip E. Walker - Congratulations!

Sweetest Vacation has been chosen as an Official Selection in the 2023 Micheaux Film Festival!

We are honored to welcome you into an exclusive family of avant-garde filmmakers and storytellers from around the world; being selected is a true testament to your talent and dedication.

We believe that true artistry knows no boundaries and thrives on pushing the limits of creativity. Our goal is to revolutionize the entertainment and media industry by giving a platform to visionary filmmakers like yourself.

Bhutan1Logo2023.jpg

Bhutan International Film Cultural Awards
Thimphu-Tsirang, Bhutan

"quote coming"

bottom of page