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California Dreams - Film Review (American Essentials Film Festival 2017)

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A sparse examination of withering dreams
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Image courtesy of American Essentials Film Fest 2017

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Images Number 7 Films

The song 'California Dreamin' by The Mamas & the Papas seems to have a lot more going for it than the characters in this film, California Dreams. Directed by Mike Ott and 85 minutess long, this Australian Premiere is for 18 plus audiences only.

Filled with narratives for most of the film, it runs through the lives of a few characters who dream of becoming big names in Hollywood, with seemingly no talent to back up their dreams The lines blur between auditioning and reality, that at one point, you don't know if a scene is part of an audition, or if it's happening in reality.


The character most focussed upon and taking the lead is Cory Zacharia, who spends the whole film trying to raise money and make a film career happen in Germany. His lack of talent makes you wonder if he's being conned, or if he really has an offer over in Berlin. Regardless, he'll put you through a wringer of emotions as he tries your patience with his character's approach to life. So is it all just bad acting on his part, or is he really a good actor to wring out such a response? That is the question!

You'll meet Filipino immigrant Patrick, Kevin the storage-unit supervisor, Neil the would-be screenwriter and middle-aged Carolan; the hall of human mirrors, the rag-tag team filled with dreams of becoming famous even though they don't possess the innate talent to fulfil these dreams. Yet, who is to say, dreams don't come true. This is a film for those who love a lot of dialogue, are happy to question and be curious about the characters represented in a film that seems to not really be going anywhere, leave alone have something to say. It's different strokes for different folks, so like me, you may very well find it engaging to study each character, not unlike many, who walk this earth amongst us.

For other curiosities and unique offerings other than this film, visit the American Essentials Film Festival 2017 website. Check their Facebook page for updates. You might find some of the trivia on IMDB interesting too.

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Why? American Essentials Film Festival 2017
When: SYD: 9-24 May, MEL: 11-24 May, CAN: 16-28 May, BRIS: 17-28 May, ADEL: 18-28 May 2017
Where: Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide
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