A man reflects on all the things that he loved about a lost one. Only to realize the greatest thing he loved about her was letting her go.

This film may be a couple of years old, but still a little gem. Unattended Baggage is an intimate short film about a man who loses the love of his life. Remembering all the things that drew him to her, and how her leaving might have been the greatest gift of all. Directed by Roberto Serrini, who’ve we just featured his wonderful documentary ‘Italy In Bocca‘ – a definite must-see for cuisine lovers.

“I felt the need to put these feelings on film”

The film is a memory of love. I had just gone through an intense break up with a woman I was deeply entangled with on all levels, and her absence sent me in a bit of a spiral. Typically I work as a documentarian, telling other people’s stories without the weight of a narrative, but I felt the need to put these feelings on film because they were all I could think of at the time.

I was living in NYC and my apartment was haunted by her after we broke up. I could still see her and almost feel her around the house, and I felt fractured like most people do after a separation. A friend of mine, Natasha King, who I have worked with for years. She is as close to a muse as I would embarrassingly confess to, and asked her to be part of this very special, intimate project with me. Together with the help of one of my closest friends, a master DP named Mikko Timonen, we shot this little film that looked inside of me and what I was going through. Without the trust of two very best friends who also happened to be extremely talented this could have never happened.

You know we love films that bring in real emotions. And while watching ‘Unattended Baggage’ you know that the words must be coming from a real life experience. Brilliantly capturing the tiniest details that can make a person unique – something that we absolutely adore in this film. Following the lines of all of Serrini’s work, lots of attention goes into the editing. An element that dictates the flow and almost comical pace of the film.

“The real gift is knowing that everyone shares the same pain around the world”

There was no goal or objective for making this. No one was asking for it, and no one got paid. It was just three people who love to create and love each other and wanted to make something on a Tuesday afternoon, shot on a FS700 with a work lamp. We drank and smoked a bit, laughed and cried a bit. And just tried to capture something real and beautiful in an interesting way. Later, I cut the film and laid down a little VO of what was going through my mind while shooting. I’ve always loved the work of the directing duo Canada, and lent on their style which seemed to fit well. The film is like a small picture album you drop on the floor. The pictures randomly falling together to make a larger picture when you stand back.

I have made hundreds of short subject docs, and dozens of commercials for brands. Of all the work I’ve done, I am most amazed by this little casual film. It has won more awards, and has touched more people then other pieces that were prescribed with greatness (and large budgets). It was included in Shoot/DGA top new director’s showcase, and has been translated into half a dozen languages. While all the attention and accolade as a filmmaker is definitely welcomed, the real gift is knowing that everyone shares the same pain around the world.

No, I don’t know if the girl ever saw the film. I’m not sure what she would think.

Stay tuned to Film Shortage this week as we’ll be featuring another of Serrini’s docs on our Picks.