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:


By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.


By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.


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.


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...


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.


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.

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.