ASIA A

By Andrew Reid | Drama
A paralyzed athlete struggles to regain his self-worth.

Marquise is a promising young athlete in the prime of life when he suffers a spinal cord injury after an accident. He must stay in the hospital and recover, as well as undergo occupational therapy to regain as much of his basic physical skills as possible.

Angry and frustrated, Marquise struggles to reconcile his sense of self-worth with his new status as a paraplegic. But the journey to acceptance is hard, though with the help of his hospital roommate and his physical therapist, he begins to find his way.

This rich, expressive drama — directed by Andrew Reid, and written by Reid and Roberto Saieh — portrays one young man’s transition from struggle to acceptance, as he navigates a “new normal” that is antithetical to the person he was, and wanted to be.

Though it is far from bombastic, the film’s visual approach and style isn’t afraid to be striking or arresting, even expressionistic. This isn’t a subtle, quiet film, but one that wears its emotions on its sleeve, reflecting the temperament and predicament of its main character. The lighting and colors are often rich and saturated, matching the heightened emotion of the film, and the camerawork is equally distinctive. Though most of the film is confined to the hospital setting, the richness of the images makes for a dynamic dramatic experience, matching Marquise’s emotional arc.

“ASIA A” refers to the classification given to Marquise, based on a system of tests developed by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA). These tests — based on how much sensation someone can feel at multiple points on the body, as well as the motor function — define and describe the severity of a patient’s spinal cord injury. The classification also helps determine future rehabilitation and recovery approaches.

Marquise has the most severe grade, thanks to a complete lack of motor and sensory function below the level of his injury. “Ballers” actor London Brown nails Marquise’s anger and frustration in a performance that’s free of vanity: filled with anger and resentment, he’s not afraid to lash out at the people who love or support him. But eventually he must face the truth — not just the truth about his physical limitations, but his emotional reality as well. In doing so, he finds his true strength.

Set to be developed as a feature with the help of the prestigious Tribeca Film Institute and Sloan Foundation, “ASIA A” is clearly a personal film. Writer-director Reid became paralyzed from the chest down at age 21. Told by doctors that he would never walk again, Reid regained movement and today walks with a cane, continuing to progress in strength and health and going on to study in the MFA film program at USC.

“ASIA A” serves as a valuable window into an experience not everyone may go through. But through the film’s boldness and honesty, many will find it — and its portrayal of struggle and strength to overcome a limitation — inspiring and almost universal.




You Might Also Like:

Discipline

By Christophe M. Saber | Comedy
A father slaps a disobedient child. Then a bystander threatens to report him for abuse.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

Bless Me Father

By Paul M. Horan | Drama
A priest has a moral dilemma when a man confesses a secret that affects his life.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman uncovers the truth about the man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Don’t Be a Hero (Sundance)

By Pete Lee | Drama
A woman robs banks as a cowboy on her lunch break.

Lost & Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A farmer invests his savings in a piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield (Sundance)

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.



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.