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Directed by Matthew Ewald / Reviewed by Adva Reichman

Fighting despair, depression and darkness is ever challenging. Losing someone close because of it can be heartbreaking. What if you could fight it? Possibly stop it? And even bring that person back and show him there is hope down the road?

Filmmaker Matthew Ewald recognized the need to discuss such an important subject during such troubling times. He managed to get his message across and keep his safety while doing it by filming the short using his mobile phone. Now, add to that the fact that the film is highly entertaining and very creative, and you get a fun little short with a meaningful bottom line.

 ‘The sparrow’s creator and actor is Matthew Ewald who you might know from the highly popular FOX science fiction/adventure television series “Galidor”, where he portrays the character of Nicholas Bluetooth. The franchise, an international hit, spawned Matthew his own action figure through the LEGO brand, as well as merchandising rights through Cap’N Crunch cereal, McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys, XBOX and PlayStation video game consoles, among many others.

According to its creator, ‘The Sparrow’ follows a man who must undertake the task of finding the cures for lost souls, claimed by the unforgiving endlessness of Despair. His mission is to traverse realms of anguish in order to retrieve the glimmer of hope that remains within, before time runs out.

But when Despair takes hold of a friend, using his depression as a conduit to enter our world, The Sparrow, along with a band of journeymen, must fight through Despair’s now physical hold upon their own torments to deliver the cure.

The cinematography throughout the film, and specifically during the Sparrow’s journey was rich and colorful. The filmmaker did not let the fact the film was shot on his phone stop him from achieving the visuals he needed. Combined with great makeup and special effects this short serves as a great proof of concept to what I’m hoping will be a feature someday.

The narration, done by Shannon DeSalvo, explained the chained of events and guided us through the dangerous journey. A part of me wishes, we didn’t need as much narration and could understand more of what is happening on screen without it. Having said it, I must admit I really enjoyed breaking the “manly” characters with a woman’s voice.

The song that escorts the film ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ is an excellent choice, and serves the film well as it adds the right feel and tone.


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