Directed by: Gerard Zarra

John Dablovski is a delusional young man who believes he is the star of his own reality television show. But when an old friend from the past comes to visit, Dablovski must choose which reality he believes in.
Gerard Zarra | A New Jersey native and graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Gerard has had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects in the world of film. Gerard fell in love with film at age nine after watching a VHS tape of Rocky. Since then, he has become a student of the medium and its ability to entrance an audience. His influences range from David Chase to Steven Spielberg to Alexander Payne. In his spare time, he writes and performs standup comedy.

Review:

John Dablovski Reality TV Star

By Alexia Amoriello.

Gerard Zarra’s short film conquers the challenging task of making an obnoxious character both charming and fascinating to watch. The concept of a man who is convinced that he is the star of his own reality television show is refreshing and intriguing; it is the exact opposite scenario of The Truman Show yet it is equally captivating. Whereas in The Truman Show Truman is unaware that his life is a television show, John Dablovski believes he is the star of a reality television show and the people he encounters do not understand and are perplexed by his behavior.
The cinematography is striking and makes it clear that this is a legitimate film as opposed to a reality television show, despite the subject matter. The film never loses its pace and every minute is spent wisely. In fact, the premise of John Dablovski: Reality TV Star is mesmerizing to the extent that it could potentially be a feature length film. However, Zarra’s screenplay is wonderfully concise, ensuring that Dablovski does not overstay his welcome.
Additionally, the acting is thoroughly convincing and Marco Torriani’s performance as the titular character is noteworthy. Torriani manages to portray a typical reality TV star effortlessly but with enough heart to clarify that this is a man who is painfully delusional. It is hilarious to watch as Dablovski obliviously addresses a nonexistent audience and camera crew with conviction.
There is plenty of emotional depth lurking within John Dablovski: Reality TV Star, as the film is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. It is devastating to watch a man embarrass himself and go through life unaware of his delusions. Yet the fact that Dablovski is so blissfully unaware is strangely heartwarming because he truly believes that he is a television star and is elated to be one, regardless of the reality of the situation. Although there is emotional weight to the film, it still remains lighthearted and humorous due to the fact that Dablovski is an arrogant character with an overinflated ego. Thus, the emotional depth of the film is expertly subtle because on the surface the film is a comedy about a pompous delusional young man.
Overall, Zarra’s film is humorous and amusing, yet oddly heartfelt. John Dablovski: Reality TV Star is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be shown during the festival on October 12-18, 2015.