Odessa, by American and Canadian award-winning team Sean Michael Turrell (director), Doug Johnson (writer/producer), and Grace Santos (actor/producer), has been officially selected at HOLLYSHORTS and will compete for the $15,000 cash prize from Zype and $60,000 in post-production services from Company 3 and Method Studios at the event.
Odessa is a quiet and powerful dystopian drama that slowly gives up its secrets. A mother makes a dangerous and strangely familiar border crossing in order to save her ailing daughter’s life. But she turns out to be crossing OUT of the US and into the Sovereign State of Texas, which has seceded from the union and controls most of the deeply impoverished USA’s petroleum supply.
“The script delivered a compelling, personal drama, but also touched on the issues of border security and immigration. Around the same time that I found ‘Odessa’ on inktip.com in June 2013, a university study was released analyzing the trends and demographics of 2,238 people who died in south central Arizona from 1990 to 2012 after crossing the border illegally. The study made an observation that stuck with me while reading ‘Odessa’ and comes up again and again in the debates and the news: ‘We’re missing the point. The answers don’t lie in border security. The answers lie in understanding the economics [that drive migration]’.”, said producer/actor Grace Santos.
“The goal of Odessa is neither to vilify nor sanctify Texas, simply to challenge our own identity and the far-reaching effects that seismic shifts and partisanship can have in a new gilded age.”, explains the writer Doug Johnson.
Apart from being a stand-alone short, Odessa also serves as a pitch-episode for a serial drama expanding upon the situations and characters in the film.
Odessa had a successful market screening at the Cannes’ Short Film Corner, won a Remi Award at WorldFest, and won the Grand Jury Award for Best Short Film at the Gasparilla International Film Festival.
Sean Turrell (Director), Grace Santos (Actress, Producer), Doug Johnson (Writer, Producer), Anthony Escobar (Actor), and Ricky Wayne (Actor) will attend the Q&A after the Hollyshorts screening.