JACOB (short film)
After finding his older brother's lifeless body, the suicide prompts cathartic changes in a young man. A true story about discovering the importance of humor amongst life's darkest moments.
“This well-written, well-paced, well-shot, and well-edited short film has just the right balance of darkness and humor that audiences respond to.” - Dr. Rae Muhlstock - University at Albany, SUNY
“I did not know what at all to expect and it just drew me in. I’m literally laughing and crying and not sure I should be doing either or both. It’s just so incredible in its honesty, but also in its humor.” - Kate Welshofer - Anchor WGRZ-TV
“A sweet sadness that inspires hope while accepting loss. It’s incredibly well paced and executed from a directing and editing standpoint.” – Matt Harrison - SAG-AFTRA
“As someone who has had a long battle with depression, I appreciated this film. I cried the first time I watched it. It's hard for people who have lost family and friends to suicide understand where they should go and what they should do next.” - Samantha Ponzillo - SponzilloTV.com
Dr. Rae Muhlstock
University at Albany, SUNY
Often in films about making films the requisite metareferences and narrative techniques act as distancing devices holding viewers, characters, and even the filmmakers themselves back from the subject matter of the film. Perhaps because it is not only based on the true story of writer/director/editor Bobby Chase but also uses those true locations, these same techniques, when used in Jacob, bring us, and Chase himself, closer to the characters and situations occurring on screen. This well-written, well-paced, well-shot, and well-edited short film has just the right balance of darkness and humor that audiences respond to, and it is no surprise that Chase has found success in television and advertising, and that his feature length comedy screenplay, Knit Wits, was a Winning Finalist for the Electric City Script Contest.
Although seemingly simple on the surface—it features a small cast who give subtle but nuanced performances, few special effects, and a small set of real-life locations—Jacob is honest and unapologetic. I am sure we have all wished, at some point, that we didn’t curse during a key transformative experience in our lives or, if you are Bobby Chase, in our films, but the inclusion of this moment in the film feels real because it is. Through such honest moments Jacob exposes suicide as an insidious reality beneath the idyllic backdrop of a snowy suburb and shows us the power of both humor and filmmaking as a pathway to healing. It is about love, loss, and cinema, and hopefully through a film like this Chase can inspire a new set of filmmakers to process their own experiences through the cinematic arts.