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The Independent Critic

Matt William Knowles, Cindera Che, Kara Wang
Myles Yaksich
20 Mins.

 Award-Winning Short "Poppies" Heads Toward Feature Production 
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After a festival run that included a world premiere at L.A. Shorts Fest and over 17 awards across 26 festivals and 6 countries, writer/director Myles Yaksich's Poppies is headed into production as a feature film project that one can only hope is as beautifully written and directed as is this film that tells the story of an American businessman, Charles (Matthew William Knowles, Sons of the South), on his way back to America from Shanghai when he finds himself sitting next to Auntie Ling (Cindera Che, La La Land), an elderly woman who doesn't quite buy into his desire to work away his flight and instead begins to regale him with tales of her younger days. Despite his resistance, he finds himself getting caught up in her tales, even as her attempts to learn more about him along the way mostly fall flat until finally stories are shared and long buried feelings are brought to the forefront. 

Dylan Chapgier's lensing for Poppies is simply pristine and beautiful, several shots just breathtaking while he also quite wonderfully captures the interactions between Charles and Auntie Ling. Nicholas Pike's original music for the film is similarly impressive, while kudos must also be given for John Garaguso's production design, Victor Deras's editing, and Coleen Chan's costuming work that fits so beautifully within the fabric of the film. 

However, one simply can't praise the film without acknowledging strong performances by both Matthew William Knowles, whose demeanor changes tremendously over the course of the 20-minute film, and Cindera Che, whose performance radiates both a sense of majesty and an earthy warmth. Together, they're quite lovely to watch. 

For more information on Poppies, visit the film's website linked to in the credits. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic