Rated: Not Rated

        It still amazes me the impact short films can make. It seems almost mind boggling to me that a film as short as three minutes can tell a complete story, include depth of the characters and stick with you long after it’s done. Part of my mystification stems from my experiences with a lot of feature length films. There is a long list of features, (which I won’t name here), that take between an hour and a half and three hours to watch, yet when they’re done you’re left with an empty feeling, because after all of that time you still don’t know why the characters did what they did or acted the way they acted. At the end of these types of films I often ask myself two questions: Why? and What was the point? I guess these are the two sides of the film making coin. On one side of the coin are short films that tell a complete story and are impactful in 30 minutes or less. The other side of the coin are feature films that can’t finish a story and leave you wondering what the point of it all was.
        Of course, I know that there are countless feature films out there that are gripping, moving, deep, entertaining and complete, no matter their length. I also realize that there are short films out there that run into the problems I’ve mentioned. The plus with short films that leave you wondering what the point was is that they’re over quicker, at the very least. But, in all my years of going to film festivals and paying more attention to short films I’ve found that the number of shorts that are pointless are few and far between. More often than not shorts are better than their feature length counterparts, even when the subject matter is the same.

Matt Russell as Warren in Delia (Photo courtesy of John Garrett)

Matt Russell as Warren in Delia (Photo courtesy of John Garrett)

        One such short that’s better than its feature length counterparts is Delia. While there are a multitude of both features and shorts that cover the subject of the loss of a loved one, and more specifically, a child, none that I’ve seen do it in a more tasteful, artistic and moving way than the makers of Delia did.
        While Matt Russell, the writer, producer and actor of the film doesn’t have many credits to his name (yet), what he accomplishes with
Delia is nothing short of inspirational. Not only did he write a story that will tug at your heartstrings and leave you contemplating the deeper meaning of it all, but he also adds a sense of authenticity to the main character that I don’t think anyone else could’ve pulled off so beautifully. He plays Warren, the main character, so convincingly that it’s almost difficult to remember that Delia isn’t a documentary. Matt Russell is certainly one I’ll be keeping an eye on, because if this film is any indication, his star will be rising in no time!
  Shortly after it took home Best Narrative Short at the 2015 New Hampshire Film Festival, I spoke to cinematographer John Garrett about the film.  Here’s what he had to say:
         When I asked what inspired him to take on this project he said, “While I now live in Portland, ME most of my work continues to be based out of Los Angeles. When Matt Russell approached me to shoot in New England I jumped at the opportunity.  On the surface this is a film about a hunting accident and gun control, but at its heart this is a film about love and loss.  I think Matt did a beautiful job not hitting the audience over the head with a political message, but rather telling a story like a poem and leaving the audience to translate the metaphors in their own way. Like most things in life, there is no right answer.
         “If we succeeded as filmmakers, we'd like the audience to take away a conversation topic. To me, the best films are the ones that spark a discussion. Guns and hunting are something that most everyone has an opinion about; hopefully our film contributes to the conversation.”
         I agree with Garrett on this last point whole heartedly. Whether a film is feature or short, the best ones stick with you and keep your mind going long after they’re done.
Delia is just such a film. It doesn’t matter if what sticks with you are thoughts about gun control, hunting accidents, grief, loss or just the beautiful New Hampshire winter scenery; as long as you’re thinking about it, Delia has made its impact on you.
Matt Russell and Kaili Hollister in Delia (Photo courtesy of John Garrett)

Matt Russell and Kaili Hollister in Delia (Photo courtesy of John Garrett)

Delia is not rated, was directed by Thomas Scott Stanton and stars Matt Russell, William DeCoff, Remi Mayo and Kaili Hollister. It is currently making the film festival rounds. More information can be found at