On the surface a film about a self-taped audition that takes a turn for the worse, Alexander Farah’s Sides.pdf is a thought-provoking story with a twist that makes you somewhat reevaluate all that has come before it. Set in a small room where Mark is helping his friend Hannah record a scene for an LA casting director, Farah’s 6-minute short is a story all about performances and shifting perspectives.
“It’s easy to surrender to this world of living in a bubble”, Farah reveals when discussing how he empathises with both the characters in his short. “I’m sure I’m not alone in being guilty of losing sight of other important things in life that matter…But I’m learning more and more, personally, that I need experiences of all sorts in order to grow as a person. I guess I’m just trusting that somewhere along the way, the terror, the trauma and the triumphs will all come together and help me write and direct the stories I want to share in my lifetime”.
What you take from the reveal at the conclusion of the short will be down to your own perspective, is it a clever twist commenting on life imitating art or a confusing gimmick that bemused more than amused you?
“Sides.pdf explores reality (or, realities) as they exist and collide within acting and performance”, says Farah addressing the inspiration behind the film. “I wanted to explore the idea of “real life” interrupting an audition, but the scene unraveling as if the audition is still in motion. I sought to create and explore alternate realities as *we* recognize them versus how *the characters* recognize them. Kiarostami’s Certified Copy is a noteworthy inspiration, as it explores a relationship between a man and woman who go from being perceived as strangers to, later, a husband and wife, consistently challenging the audience to scrutinize their relationship”.
Farah is currently working on trying to obtain a $10k grant to make RoomTone.wav, a follow-up to Sides.pdf which he describes as taking “a peek into the thoughts of crew members during the recording of room tone on a film set”. If you like the sound of that, you can find out more on the Storyhive website.
Further down the line the director hopes to complete his trilogy of films titled EXTENSIONS, by creating the third and final film Dailies.mov. Hopefully we’ll get to feature all three on Short of the Week and Farah can join us again once they’re all complete and discuss how the trio work together.