Serenity (United States, 5 minutes)
Directed by: Jack Dunphy
Written by: Jack Dunphy
20 year old animator Jack Dunphy recounts the first time he fell in love-- her name was Rose Cardellini. He met her in a film class in high school, a class he subsequently flunked because instead of taking notes on Citizen Kane, he was imagining Rose naked. To his amazement, Rose admitted to him that she liked him one day, and that was that. The flood gates to his heart were open, and there was no looking back. Unfortunately, during this time he was passively dating a suicidal heroin addict named Serenity. Through the aid of cut out and stop motion animation, Jack recalls the impossible decision to break up with Serenity at the risk of her killing herself, or stay with her at the risk of loosing his first love.
By: Conor Murray
As though it were told by an old friend recalling the days of the past, "Serenity" is a hilarious and heartbreaking tale told in the form of a simple animation. Jack Dunphy does a fantastic job in blending his simple characters and settings with a very complex situation. Dunphy recalls the memories of how he lost his virginity, times of heartbreak, and how things could have gone differently in a rough game of "what if." The characters are basic, being made out of just paper cut outs, but are detailed enough to each be unique and amusing. A highlight of the film is the numerous times that Dunphy recalls what he was pondering at the time of the events, such as debating pizza versus a sandwich despite just hearing terrible news. The voice over really ties together the entire animation, as his very natural pacing and fearless honesty make the short feel very personal. The very human aspect of the story draws you in and makes you feel invested in Dunphy's world. "Serenity" is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be shown during the festival’s run from October 12-18, 2015.