Michael Mante, UK, 2019

16 minutes, English

Hansen is a troubled young man, struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after losing many of his friends and more recently, his brother, to violence. Repressed emotions fight their way to the surface in the form of panic attacks and anxious episodes. With marijuana and isolation as a coping mechanism, he stumbles upon a creative community group on his way to pick up more “weed” from a dealer. Peering in on this group he catches the attention of Sam, a young man with the same look in his eye as Hansen, yet who seems to command an environment and feel comfortable within the space of the hall. Hansen returns to the group as they sand tables, trying to see what it is in this space and brotherhood that is drawing him in, whilst trying not to invest too emotionally as Sam wishes to draw more emotional engagement from him.


Michael Mante is a writer/director looking to tell poignant and relatable stories through the gift of cinema. He didn’t attend film school, but learnt through watching hundreds of films a year (US, domestic and foreign), specifically taking a liking to the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Edward Yang, Wong-Kar Wai and Paul Thomas Anderson. He is constantly reading a mass of screenplays, trying to decipher what it is about films that makes them tick. His first short film Body Language was commissioned by Channel 4 for its Random Acts programme and went on to screen at numerous festivals including the London Short Film Festival in 2018. Body Language is an art/dance film, exploring gentrification, classism and racism. Sandpaper will be Michael’s first narrative short film and he already has a handful of feature treatments in development with the BFI.

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