Set in the 1980s, a dancer-choreographer duo has a single-minded goal: to win a national dance competition. As Nationals approach, the best friends begin to clash over their own ambitions, jeopardizing their chances of stardom entirely.

Directors Vision

As an aspiring filmmaker in New York City I am constantly surrounded by ambition. It’s a quality that wavers between a strength and a flaw, and in excess, I believe that it can result in ultimate failure. For this short film, I want to explore its role between two characters, a dancer (Arthur) and a choreographer (Ben), who are best friends and artistic collaborators with a mutual competitive goal.

Stocky and inelegant, Ben and Arthur start rehearsing their routine against all odds and despite doubtful audiences in hopes of taking it to Nationals. However, this underdog narrative is not just the duo versus society; here, fragile masculinity and restrained vulnerability are antagonistic forces. I believe these internal conflicts to be caused by a traditionally American upbringing that categorizes hobbies by gender and restricts outlets for self-expression, outputting people like Ben and Arthur who so desperately want to make art but lack the confidence to do it amid societal judgment. To raise the stakes, I’ve decided to age the narrative back to the 1980s, when cultural chaos due to the pop music revolution and AIDS crisis further isolated machismo and effeminacy. The only way for Ben and Arthur to assert their machismo in a stereotypically effeminate art form to a judgmental society is by literally winning – and thus, they set their eyes on a National Dance Competition trophy.

As we watch the duo’s ambition sabotage their own act, we have to wonder, to what extent can true friendship exist in competition? My story aims to surface this universal unease.