Wallachia International Film Festival REVIEW
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!
Star Int. Film Festival
REVIEW - cont.
"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.
Micheaux Film Festival
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.
New Wave International Film and Script Festival
Bhutan International Film Cultural Awards
Maldives International Media Awards
Malee, Sri Lanka