After his wife leaves him, Charles begins to assume the identities of strangers at a local coffee shop to avoid being alone.

We all know a break up is hard, and a spouse leaving you is even harder. The mind will often enter in a state of shock and depression looking for answers and resolutions, where sometimes comfort is found in the strangest places. Filmmaker Will Thompson tingles with this idea in ‘A New Man’ where his main protagonist Charles starts a new daily routine having breakfast in the same coffee shop every morning after his wife leaves him in hopes of starting his life up again. But one morning Charles is mistaken for somebody else and instead of correcting the stranger he assumes the role of the other person. This opens a whole new experience for Charles, regaining human contact he repeats this several times with new people, filling a void in his life in becoming someone new.

I heard an episode of “This American Life” that featured author Etgar Keret presenting his short story “Healthy Start.” I immediately saw the film version playing in my head, and since then I went about securing the rights for the story and received a grant from the Kevin Spacey Foundation to create the short. This story really struck a chord with me– Charles’s fundamental need to connect with people is something I think we can all relate to.

The storyline is simple and cheeky, but Charles’ mundane attitude gives ‘A New Man’ a certain layer of depth played to ingeniously by Russell Saylor and perfectly glued together by the vision of Will.