Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s we’re taking a weekly look at some of some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Joseph Giampietro’s politically charged dramedy Unpresidented.
The Plot: A New Yorker comes to regret laying down a risky bet on the 2016 presidential election.
It’s really hard to believe it’s been almost a full year since inauguration day. While the 2017 has been a seemingly never-ending test of patience and perseverance on all sides of the social/political spectrum, the one positive to take from all the madness is that people are actually talking about the issues at hand. Of course, those conversations are not always pleasant. More often than not, they’re downright infuriating. That was particularly true of the final days leading up to the inauguration, the timeframe for Jason Giampietro’s Unpresidented.
Set on the icy streets of New York City in January 2017, Giampietro’s “walking and talking” dramedy faithfully and incisively captures the nervy malaise that led up to that fateful day. The film follows the travails of a man (Mike Swift) who places what seems like an innocent enough bet that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election. His post-election life gets complicated when he continues to defend his reasoning for said bet to his friends. As inauguration day closes in, the man’s list of friends continues to shrink. Like so many Americans at the time – he just keeps trying to justify his reasoning for how we got there, even if he’s generally oblivious to how people around him are reacting.
True to its “walking and talking” formula, not much actually happens in Unpresidented. Characters in the film simply walk the streets of New York and exchange their ideas and personal viewpoints on the seeming calamity ahead. While Unpresidented never really hides which side of the conversation it’s on, it never shies away from some of the more popular (and flimsier) opinions that continue to come from the opposition. What makes the film such a fascinating watch a year after its inception is that most of the thoughts and theories central to both sides are still alarmingly accurate. Thankfully, Giampietro peppers Unpresidented with a biting sense of humor that never lets the film get too bogged down by its heavier overtones. In the end, he seems to understand that the free exchange of ideas can be frustrating as hell, but cutting off the conversation – as liberating as that can be – might not be the best solution; and if some folks are patently unable to hear you, take to the streets and shout a little louder.
Meet The Crew:
Written, Directed & Edited by: Jason Giampietro Starring: Mike Swift, Keith Poulson, Madeleine James, Fred Leeds, Arya Ghavamian, John Link, Rob Anderson, Keith Bogan, Anthony Minto, Lora Grillo, Marie Grillo Cinematography by: Danilo Parra Music by: Vivian Sarratt
We hope you enjoy Unpresidented! And we sincerely hope that – whichever side of the conversation you’re on – you’re still open to talking, ’cause that’s the only way we’re going to move forward. As for Unpresidented‘s writer/director Jason Giampietro, he’s already moving on after this film’s successful festival run. But don’t worry, he’s not moving too far from the arena of political commentary with his upcoming short Educators. If you can’t wait until that film arrives, you can always check out some of Giampietro’s previous work over at the Magic Square Films Vimeo page.
While you’re kicking around, be sure to check out some of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – team Vimeo has curated for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device … SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting, and you may just stumble across your new favorite filmmaker.