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The Nostalgist


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A father and son live in an idyllic future, but reality is not quite what it seems.

The Nostalgist a marvelous science-fiction short film created by Giacomo Cimini and based on a story by NY Times best-selling author Daniel H. Wilson. In the futuristic city of Vanille, with properly tuned ImmerSyst Eyes & Ears the world can look and sound like a paradise. But the life of a father and his young son threatens to disintegrate when the father’s device begins to fail. Desperate to avoid facing his own traumatic reality, the man must venture outside to find a replacement, into a city where violence and danger lurk beneath a skim of beautiful illusion.

Are we doomed to remember forever? Happiness, unhappiness, success, failure, mistakes and regrets. The life of every human being is a collection of memories. Can we trick ourselves by pretending something never happened? Can we relieve ourselves of the weight of the past through our sense of nostalgia? These for me are the two main questions raised by Daniel H Wilson’s extraordinary short story, The Nostalgist. These are the questions that drove me in adapting the story as a short film.

With such an incredible deep-storied premise, The Nostalgist not only captivates us through a poignant storyline, but also with a delightful contrast in cinematography between the real world and the imaginative. Such a hefty film does come with a certain budget involvement of course, which the shoot was covered privately and the post was partially covered by VFX partner Wonder Room along with a successful Kickstarter campaign to help ramp up the additional costs.

In this short film, I decided to depict “reality” as a nostalgic collection of memories of a bygone era; a past made of different pasts, which for me has its origin in the same time and world ideally imagined by the pioneer of science fiction, Jules Verne: a dawn of optimistic progress and happiness which at its peak found the horror of the two world wars. Technology wasn’t there just to make life better; it could also destroy everything. And so can the boy-robot at the centre of the story: a device assembled out of pieces and parts from previous killing machines, at the same time able to love and destroy, and therefore incredibly human. With one striking exception: robots can reset themselves.

When all placed together, The Nostalgist is an incredible group effort brilliantly inched together by director Giacomo Cimini, for a resulting thrilling film bringing you waves of emotions and some of the best of science fiction has to offer. Needless to say that a feature version of the film is currently in progress, and we can’t wait to see it!

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