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The Independent Critic

Manuel Trotta, Luigi Sciamanna
Manuel Trotta
18 Mins.


 "El Astronauta" Snags Narrative Audience Choice at Indy Shorts 
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Beto (Manuel Trotta) must help his father, Don Alfredo (Luigi Sciamanna), fulfill his only desire - to reach the moon to say goodbye to his beloved late wife, a poignant and tender story that could have so easily been played for nothing but laughs but instead is played with a surprising degree of sweetness and honesty in this genuinely entertaining 18-minute short film written and directed by its co-star Manuel Trotta. 

El Astronauta captured the Narrative Audience Choice Award at the 2019 Indy Shorts International Film Festival this past weekend, a win that also included a $500 prize for the Venezuela/Mexico production. Guillermo Polo's lensing for the film is warm and natural, while Trotta enjoys such a relaxed, authentic chemistry with Sciamanna that you can't help but buy into their father-son relationship. 

El Astronauta has already enjoyed multiple successful fest screenings including Cleveland International Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Bucharest International Film Festival, Mammoth Film Festival, and Newport Beach Film Festival. 

As the story in El Astronauta unfolds, you can't help but find yourself surrendering to it more and more. This comes courtesy of the terrific lead performances but also Pablo Croissier's sweeping, upbeat original score that sort of breezes its way through the film's scenery. 

The film rides this wonderful line somewhere being realism and fantasy, never quite becoming one or the other yet also always feeling like it's exactly what it needs to be. An enjoyable, heartfelt short film, El Astronauta continues on its festival journey and is definitely a film you'll want to see if you get a chance. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic