Aaron's Life Dilemma

Bruce Von Stiers

I just had the opportunity to watch a new short film drama titled Unorthodox. It is an interesting take on leaving a structured world behind and what could happen if you do.

The film was written and directed by Tomer Preis. Besides writing and directing, Preis has worked as a gaffer and second camera operator. It was produced by Kseniya Yorsh. Her resume includes eleven short films and one feature documentary. Two of her films have been seen at the Cannes Film Festival several others are currently being shown at various film festivals. Associate producer for the film was Emilio Madaio.

Aaron is an 18 year old Orthodox Jew who is caught in a life that he doesn't want. He is betrothed to Hannah, whose father has promised Aaron a seat on the diamond exchange. But in a bit of defiance Aaron continually sneaks out of his house at night.

One such night Aaron is at a bar and meets Emma. She is a wild party girl who mixes her own tracks for the DJ's. Emma gives Aaron her number and so he in turn takes a walk on the wild side with her. He sings on some tracks, does some drugs and gets it on with Emma.

But back at home things aren't so swell. Aaron is getting pressure to conform and just settle down, marry Hannah and take the job her father is offering.

This kind of story is not new. In fact, it's probably been done too many times to count. But usually the tale is drawn out for a full feature film. As this was a short film, a lot of the extraneous scenes and sub-plots that are usually part of a feature were excluded. Which in turn made this a tighter story.

The film keyed in on the dilemma that Aaron faces. Does he go forward on the path that his family and others have set him upon? Or does he abandon it all for the new girl and possible glory as a vocalist on her dance tracks?

Aaron is played by Evan Weinkle. He is fairly new to the film world. Joe Karam plays Aaron's brother Kobi. Karam's previous work includes roles in several short films. Rachel Scorpio is Emma. She can be spotted in the upcoming film Mac Daddy's Vegas Adventure. Victoria Lee Brown is in the role of Aaron's betrothed, Hannah. Victoria was the casting director for, and had a role, in the short film How I Lost My Best Friends. Supporting this cast were Tim Peck and Rosalee Roder as Aaron's parents. Other supporting actors in the film were Phillip Sokoloff, Robin S. Roth, Gary Matthew and Luay Alyass.

The film was well written and acted. The material moved along fluidly and the acting was very good. Nobody over acted or seemed uncomfortable in their roles. The only scene that I had any problem with was one where Aaron and his brother Kobi are having a conversation. Both brothers use profanity concerning sex during that conversation. It seemed a bit over the top to me.

Unorthodox is currently being shown at various film festivals. It will have a formal release sometime in the near future.


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© 2016 Bruce E Von Stiers