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The Independent Critic

Valentina Cevallos, Ryan Chavez
John Michael Wilyat
7 Mins.

 "Firefly and the Coffee Machine" a Remarkable Animated Short 
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A magical seven-minute short film, Firefly and the Coffee Machine takes characters created by the imagination of an eight-year-old girl and develops them into a poetic and visually compelling animated short film that is already proving to be incredibly successful on the film festival circuit including picking up the People's Choice Award at the MIA Animation Festival, the Platinum Award in the Oregon Film Awards and being an official selection at Nashville Film Festival, Byron Bay International Film Festival, SparkCon Film Festival and Sunscreen Film Festival with others sure to follow.

Written and directed by John Michael Wilyat, Firefly and the Coffee Machine weaves together sci-fi and fantasy into elements simultaneously adult yet incredibly childlike in their expression. The essence of the film, made even more poignant when one considers its foundation within the mind of a child, is that amidst wonder and beauty there inevitably exists some thread of tragedy or darkness or a shadow that makes, perhaps, the illumination shine even brighter. Wilyat brings this message beautifully to life through his animation style and through his stellar use of light and shadow within the fabric of the film. It is a wonderful achievement to be able to capture both shadow and light so completely and so satisfyingly.

Wilyat starts off the film beautifully with a scene featuring Valentina Cevallos that captures powerfully yet simply this presence of light and darkness. It's a balance that Wilyat maintains throughout the film and even without the use of dialogue manages to communicate lessons both intimate and universal.

The original music by Clemens Wijers serves as a perfect companion for the film, while Ryan Chavez's production design radiates warmth with a hint of melancholy.

Wilyat leaves much for the viewer to contemplate with Firefly and the Coffee Machine, an approach that will have you reflecting upon the film long after its closing credits have rolled and your viewing has ended. The film has already been picked up for distribution on television through PBS and on the web through IndieFlix and Snag Films.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic