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The Independent Critic

Matthew Wade

 "Plena Stellarum" on the Film Festival Circuit 

Writer/director Matthew Wade's 11-minute animated short film Plena Stellarum, which is Latin for "Full of Stars," is a wholly unique visual experience currently making the rounds on the film festival circuit including a recent win for Wade of the Gem State Award at Idaho's Sun Valley film Festival and screenings at Europe's Drunken Film Fest in July, Oak Cliff Film Festival, and Boise's Filmfort Film Festival.

Weaving together animation and horror, Plena Stellarum is described by the filmmaker as "neon ghosts dreaming in dead landscapes," a description that is, well, hard to describe in terms of how it manifests in this hypnotic, jarring short film. Wade himself wrote, animated, composited, edited, co-produced, and directed the film, while his wife, Sara Lynch, co-produced the film and Jacob Kinch contributed the film's sort of retro meets sci-fi sound design.

Wade's manifestation of these neon ghosts sort of felt like Space Invaders meets Poltergeist, an odd yet strangely effective weaving together of external influences forcing their way into one's internal psyche'.

What does it all mean? Hell if I know. All I know is it was mesmerizing to watch and I find myself still thinking about it. An interesting and thought-provoking idea smartly realized, Plena Stellarum should have no problem at all continuing its life on the indie and experimental film festival circuit. If you get a chance, check it out.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic