By Paavo Hanninen | Drama
A woman visits New Orleans and pretends to be someone else. Now she's in trouble...

Martha has come alone to New Orleans as a tourist, drifting between sights to distract herself from her troubles at home. But despite the new setting, she continues to feel disconnected and adrift.

But then she takes an opportunity to pretend to be someone else and meets a supposed co-worker, faking an identity and getting caught up in his dreams and fantasies about the woman he thinks she is. But instead of giving Martha connection, the deception brings her closer to some painful truths in her life.

Written and directed by Paavo Hanninen, this intriguing short drama explores a tangled web of lies, longing and truth woven by a woman beset by troubles and looking to escape her life and self. Told with equal parts sensuous intimacy and brooding introspection, it explores an emotional landscape of profound loneliness, and what people will do to alleviate it.

Its narrative premise takes on the temptation to try another identity in a place where no one knows you. It’s a common fantasy, executed here with a patient, intelligent observation of character. The focus is on how uneasy internal states lead to equally uneasy choices and behavior. As viewers watch Martha go deeper into her deception, tension slowly builds, both between the characters sexually and in the story emotionally.

The storytelling seems to weave a story of a brief but passionate affair, and the moody images full of brooding shadows and saturated colors take on a quietly provocative tone. The focus is on close-ups, though the man and the woman he knows as “Kara” don’t often share many camera shots. Instead, we’re focused on Martha’s experience, brought to life by actor Jamie Neumann, who captures the canniness it requires to take on another person’s identity so deeply. She is seductive, but there’s a part of her in reserve, partly because of the inherent deception of her gambit.

But as the hapless co-worker confesses the strangely affecting fantasies he has projected upon someone he barely knows, the intimacy gives her the space to confess something truly deep and vulnerable, which sends the romantic encounter spinning in unexpected directions.

“Tourist” has the weathered look of some of the very grown-up dramas that came out of 1970s Hollywood, where films like “Klute” explored mature situations with unsparing matter-of-factness. That same tone is established here through raw, unsentimental performances and writing, woven with disquieting currents of tension in the well-crafted storytelling. But in the end, we winnow down into a story about grief, regrets and inner brokenness. We realize that no matter how far we travel or how much we try to forget who we are, we can never escape ourselves.

You Might Also Like:


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


By Marianne Farley | Drama
A woman goes to an illegal abortion clinic, following the adoption of an anti-abortion law.

A La Cara

By Javier Marco | Drama
A famous reporter confronts a man for insulting her on Twitter.


By David Bartlett | Drama
A young Roma girl is discovered by Nazis as they cleanse the streets of 'undesirables'.


By Mark Rosenblatt | Drama
A little girl thinks she sees a family cleaner steal a precious ornament. Then it escalates.


By Scott Aharoni and Dennis Latos | Drama
A father keeps a painful secret from his daughter during COVID -- but risks losing her.

Free Fall

By Emmanuel Tenenbaum | Drama
A young trader jumps into the biggest trade of his life amid the September 11 attacks.


By Ben Tricklebank | Drama
A 14-year-old is expected to be a man. But he doesn't want to grow up that way.

The Recordist

By Indianna Bell and Josiah Allen | Drama
A young actress has an affair with the director. The sound recordist blackmails her.


By Miles Warren | Drama
A young boy explores his manhood after his father fights at a bowling alley.


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...

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.