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The Independent Critic

Izabella Alvarez, Pepe Serna, Oscar Alvarez, Michael Boose
Kayvon Derakshanian
Sam Chouia, Kayvon Derakshanian
11 Mins.

 "Abuelo" is an Engaging, Thrilling Short 

Alejandro (Pepe Serna) is an immigrant grandfather faced with raising his 16-year-old granddaughter Camila (Izabella Alvarez) after her parents are killed in a tragic car accident in Kayvon Derakshanian's engaging, thrilling 11-minute short film Abuelo. There's a palpable sense of grief in Abuelo, Serna's understated performance nicely capturing the resolve of a man for whom family is everything and who is determined to protect his granddaughter no matter what. 

As Camila, Izabella Alvarez gives a touching performance that grabs you in its opening moments and doesn't let you go. 

The story that unfolds is best left unspoken here, though in a mere 11-minutes the script by Derakshanian and Sam Chouia tell a meaningful story that is suspenseful and more than a little horrifying. Lensing by Diego Madrigal is effective throughout and helps to lend the short film an immediacy that keeps you guessing just how the story will finally unfold. 

Derakshanian, working as Kevin Derek, served up last year's More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story, and has a strong ability for visual storytelling that comes vividly to life even in the film's quieter moments. Immensely thoughtful and involving, Abuelo is a short film to check out if you see it on the program at an indie film fest near you. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic