Remember last week when prestige distributor A24 dropped that mystery teaser with no clear indication of what it was? It looked like some kind of sci-fi feature, possibly something from Upstream Color director Shane Carruth with its slick, futuristic visuals. Well now we know exactly what it is, and no, it's not a feature of any kind. Instead it's a short film that will be headed to Sundance this week.
Some of The Film Stage's sharp readers have figured out, based on stills and set images, the film is actually Toru, a 14-minute short from directors Jonathan Minard and Scott Rashap. Scored by Brian McComber (Krisha) and shot by DP Matt Mitchell, the Japanese film (with English subtitles) tells how “an infant’s life is transformed by a new technology", which definitely gels with the footage we saw.A i Kiyono, Yasu Suzuki, Tatsuo Ichikawa, Tsukasa Kondo, John Mullen, and Tamara Hickey star.
Here's a more complete synopsis: With a science fiction undercurrent, Toru centers on the story of a baby boy, named Toru, born with a fatal lung condition. As he only has a few days to live Toru’s parents sign him up for a trial experiment that would simulate a full life in a matter of days.
The film follows Toru’s dream-like life simulation as a boy named Todd growing up in a New England suburb, and concludes in futuristic Japan.
Disappointed? Don't be. That A24 is putting this much effort into promoting the film means they have big plans. Remember, they are the same folks who gave us Ex Machina a couple of years ago, and I wouldn't be surprised if Toru got a feature-length expansion.