Only In Dreams

By Travis Mauck | Romance
A young man battles his memories at the wedding of the woman he thought he'd marry.

Jacob attends the wedding of his ex-girlfriend Amber, well after he and Amber decided to “just friends.” But as he drifts through the reception, dealing with awkward conversations, he is inundated with strange visions that leads to outbursts and threaten to overwhelm his reality.

Soon these dreams begin to mix in memories of his past romance with Amber, destabilizing him and putting him face-to-face with his regret. But eventually Jacob must untangle his past memories and present fantasies in order to finally speak his truth — and move forward into his future with a new sense of honesty.

Writer-director Travis Mauck’s blend of fantasy and drama is about the interplay of past and present, and how memories push and pull at our emotions. Essentially a type of fantasia into Jacob’s subjectivity, the film is visually stylish, with gleaming colors, beautiful cinematography and polished camerawork that lend a heightened yet realistic feeling to being inside Jacob’s head.

His imaginings are on the strange, surreal side, but they blend seamlessly into his memories of his relationship with Amber. While the visions are chaotic and emotionally fraught, the scenes in the past exist in a different emotional register, with quiet and subtle performances alive to what’s unspoken between the couple. They’re honest, touching and sad — and very relatable to anyone who longs for the past, as imperfect and wrong as it was.

The accelerating intensity of Jacob’s visions pushes him to speak honestly to Amber, and confront his own true feelings and desires, leading to a final sequence that’s both visually ravishing and gently heartbreaking. Fantasy and reality become entangled and harder to tell apart from one another, but when the illusion is finally punctured, the moment is subtle and quietly devastating, both for Jacob and the audience.

“Only In Dreams” is ultimately a sincere and emotional exploration of how to reckon with our past, with its unfulfilled longings, sadness and regret. Unabashed in its romanticism and filled with relatable moments, it takes awhile to settle into its own unique rhythms. But once it finds its footing, it creates a deeply personal journey that leaves viewers with a lyricism that makes the melancholy of life meaningful — and just a little more endurable in its beauty.




You Might Also Like:

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Into the Silent Sea

By Andrej Landin | Sci-Fi
A Soviet cosmonaut who is stranded in space discovers a voice in the distance.

Infinite ft. George MacKay

By Connor O’Hara | Drama
A terminally-ill man has a plan to 'live on' and gets his friends to help.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.