Under the auspices of the Texas Public Policy Foundation producer/director Stephen Robinson has been creating a series of cinematic shorts that are each different in story yet similar in theme.
Each segment presents a vignette dealing with an aspect of Texas History. The first three revolved around 1830s historical incidents. Another used a preserved 1840s homestead in North Houston as the setting. Yet another also shot in the Houston area was set on the Chisolm Trail and deals with a young feisty girl who has inherited the task of driving a herd of cows from Texas to Kansas.
Robinson wants to make ten shorts as a series called Forging Texas. The shorts display a superb technical and directorial sense of storytelling. The sixth installment “Home” is currently making the rounds at the Austin Film Festival in Texas.
A distinguishing merit of a good short film is it makes you want to see the characters in a full length film.
Beginning in April 1975 with the fall of Saigon, “Home” follows siblings immigrating to Houston from Vietnam. Blending locations in the Little Saigon area of Bellaire Boulevard with scenes of commercial Gulf Coast fishing “Home” tracks the couple as they sell food out of the back of a truck and eventually establish a restaurant.
Robinson in a phone conversation describes producer Eric Pham’s vision of the short. “Eric wanted the actors to have the proper regional accent,” says Robinson.
Actors Nhan Le as the sister and Tam Nguyen as the brother achieve a solid chemistry highlighted by Robinson’s direction that quietly observes their journey.
“Home” will plays at the Austin Film Festival on Saturday, October 28 at 4:40 pm. Short Program 10: Best Lil’ Shorts in Texas 2 unwinds a the Rollins Theatre at Long Center.