The 64th edition of the Festival de Cannes opened yesterday, and included in the prestigious festival’s short film selection is The Seawall, written and directed by Mason Richards (Film/Video MFA 09). This work, the filmmaker’s CalArts thesis project, was first shown at last year’s Film Directing Program showcase.
Screening daily at the Cannes Court Métrage through May 22 as part of the festival’s Short Film Corner, The Seawall is an intimate family drama set in Georgetown, Guyana, and it features a cast of first-time, nonprofessional actors. The story deals with the relationship between a grandmother, Marjorie, and her 10-year-old grandson, Malachi, who is about to emigrate to the United States to join his mom. “Marjorie sacrifices her own happiness for her grandson’s future,” says Richards. “Although heartbreaking, it’s a story about hope and optimism.”
The Seawall includes key contributions by Richards’ fellow CalArtians: Kelly Gardner (Film/Video 08) was the director of photography; Jonathan Olmstead (Music BFA 10) composed the music; Ben Huff (Film/Video MFA 07) handled sound design; and Loren White (Film/Video BFA 09) was the colorist.
The production was creatively financed through a service organization called Friends and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Guyana.