Priscilla Rosario, Margarita Luque, Alan R. Rodriguez, Ariel R. Pacheco, Roberto Munoz, Ruby Mangubat
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"Split Decision" a Solid Debut From Antoine Allen
First-time filmmaker Antoine Allen's Split Decision has already landed a knockout world premiere as an official selection of one of the truly indie world's favored festivals, Action on Film in August. The 28-minute film is an involving drama centered around Lola (Priscilla Rosario), a rugged Hispanic lesbian with a passion for boxing and promising skills. Chasing one's dreams is never easy, but for Lola it will mean overcoming major obstacles, transcending cultural and social expectations and making those split-second decisions that will make or break her.
Compellingly portrayed by Rosario, Lola is embodied with an authenticity and a boldness that is likely a reflection of Allen's own background of overcoming obstacles and transcending expectations. Allen began his career as an A&R Manager in the music industry for several years until life experiences began to reveal an even greater potential and he started to immerse himself in the film world. He first hit success by penning the animated feature No Where Land, while his first full-length feature, Life is Too Short, is due in 2014. Of course, it always helps a solid director to have a solid cast and Rosario is impressive in bringing out both the vulnerabilities and the strengths in Lola.
Split Decision has a gritty feeling to it, but not in a manipulative or overly stylized way. There's a low-key naturalism to the film that fits nicely given the challenges of telling a narrative story, or the slice of a story, within the confines of a short film. Allen is a promising director and an already gifted writer whose characters don't so much jump out at you as they settle comfortably within your psyche'.
In case you're wondering, that's a compliment.
In addition to Rosario's fine performance, Roberto Munoz is particularly top-notch here as a man who is simultaneously compassionate and immensely driven.
Production credits are solid throughout the film with special kudos going to Marquis Mosley for his stellar editing and for Nate Kodi Wa Mwenze's excellent original music.
It will be interesting to watch the festival journey for Split Decision, which could easily find its way into the indie/underground fest, Hispanic/Black fests, LGBT fests or any number of others. I'm always a bit hesitant to aim a certain direction with a film for fear of its being too strictly confined, but Split Decision is a film that needs to be scene whatever route Allen and his crew decide to follow.
For more information on the film, visit its website linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic