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Chance meeting at the Alliance leads to the filming of ’22 Every Day’


One of the short films that will be screened during this year’s Fort Myers Film Festival is 22 Every Day. The movie follows a military combat veteran as he goes about his daily routine, showing how he still relives his experiences during the war many years later. But for a chance meeting, though, 22 Every Day may have very well have never been made.

“I met Dr. Joe Reyes at the Alliance for the Arts and he mentioned he was president of United Film & Television Artists,” Osin relates. UFTA is a not-for-profit incorporated trade association that provides information, support, assistance, and education to artists and other production crafts personnel associated with the creation and production of film, television, video, broadcast, recording, and theater products in the State of Florida. Members share experiences, industry knowledge, and tips on a broad range of topics including  acting in film & television, theater production, radio, hair & make-up, modeling, photography, getting an agent, and much more.

“We got to talking and I told him that I had been working on an idea for a film for quite some time but never had access to a filmmaker. He told me I should come to one of their meetings. I did, and I joined, and met some great, talented filmmakers. And that’s how the film materialized.”

His team consisted of cinematographer/editor Tom Mason and cameraman Ernesto De La Vega. Musician Stephan Schonberg provided the musical score.

The cast consisted of three former military people, Richard Bowers, Paul Croteau and Pedro De Armas, along with Joann Dinnen and Maryann Connolly. Only the latter has any acting experience.

“Maryann Connolly is a granddaughter of one of the veterans. You only really see her in photographs, and then she makes a phone call,” Osin notes. “She’s a professional. She’s great.”

But for the combat veterans, he felt that military duty outweighed acting experience. Not only did they understand the message that Isaac was adamant about conveying, their lack of acting acumen lends a feel of raw authenticity that advances the film’s story and theme.

Originally a stage actor, Osin utilized a bold theatrical device to make it easier for audiences to identify with and connect to the protagonist in his film. There’s virtually no person-to-person dialogue in the 19-minute short film.

“At first I thought about doing a silent movie,” Osin shares. “I didn’t end up going quite that extreme, but there’s very little person-to-person dialogue. You hear speaking through a telephone or a door, but very little dialogue. I didn’t want to distract the audience from seeing the way [the protagonist] goes about his daily life. How he functions. There’s a lot of solitude involved. I didn’t want for him to be homeless, even though there are many combat veterans who are. But there are many more [combat vets] with symptoms who are able to function within society. By removing the dialogue, the audience is better able to put themselves in the head of [the protagonist]. At least that’s my hope.”

Although 22 Every Day represents Osin’s first foray into the realm of filmmaking, it won’t be his last. After successful and rewarding roles in Anna in the Tropics and Andorra, Isaac also expects to return to live theater in the future as well. But he sees one important difference between film and theater.

“When a play completes its run, it’s over,” Isaac points out. “If you make a worthwhile film, it can be seen 10 or 20 years from now. In a sense, you’re creating a legacy. Your family can see it. Someone who’s not even born today can see it years from now or even after I die. So it will be interesting to see what people who don’t know me think about the film. I’m really eager to hear what strangers have to say.”

22 Every Day will actually screen twice during this year’s Fort Myers Film Festival. It is part of Local Shorts Block 1 that begins at noon on Saturday, Mary 15 in the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center (and includes Jeff Frey’s Every Second Counts, Prometheus Bound by Maddalena Kingsley, The Knife by Karen Whitaker and J. Bert Davis, and Waiting for Me by Glendalina Ziemba). And it will be shown a second time at the Laboratory Theater of Florida at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 16.

April 16, 2021.

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