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The Independent Critic

Deon Casey
Sam Mirpoorian
10 Mins.

 "Sonnie" Has World Premiere at Indy Shorts 

It's always a bit of a weird experience to see a film made in my hometown of Indianapolis. It's a good thing, for sure, but there's something weird about seeing those familiar places and landmarks and even memories. 

I had all the feels while watching Sam Mirpoorian's short film Sonnie, a 10-minute Indy-made short doc having its world premiere at the 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival this week that serves up a glimpse into the life of Deon "Sonnie" Casey, an impressive young man whose early life misfortunes have led to a few bad choices and a determination to create a better life for him and his son. 

Mirpoorian, an IUPUI student filmmaker who's no stranger to the Heartland Film world and who also films under the name of Sam Miro, has crafted a warm, respectful portrayal of the determined Casey. Raised by his grandmother from the age of two following the drug-related death of his parents, Sonnie started down the wrong path before a detour into single parenting made him determined to get things right and raise his son well. He finds strength and solace in competitive weightlifting while working at a local YMCA, all the while raising his child and building a better life moment by moment. 

That's what's weird, ya' know? I think to myself "I could have met Sonnie." Living in the same city, our paths could have crossed and I would have never known his story and he, of course, would never know mine. Yet, having watched Sonnie at Indy Shorts I feel better off for having experienced Sonnie's world and gotten to know him just a little better. 

Sonnie made me want to know Sonnie. 

In some ways, you could say that Sonnie the film is an awful lot like Sonnie the man - quiet and unassuming with an undeniable strength and appeal. Mirpoorian avoids any unnecessary histrionics here and trusts the quiet power of Sonnie's simple but meaningful story. 

Screening as part of the Indiana Spotlight 1 block of films during Indy Shorts, Sonnie is an intimate, compelling film about simple humanity, a search for redemption, and the beauty of fatherhood. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic