Fate Scores: a chanal Productions short film
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About the FilmStory SynopsisDirector's Statement

Director's Statement

I am fascinated by the extraordinary that masquerades itself as the seemingly ordinary. This is perhaps why I appreciate the photographs of Minor White, whose images of subjects typically considered ordinary such as barns, doorways, window frost, clouds, and paint peeling were made extraordinary by the way in which the photographs were composed. These photographs reveal, in an intimate and personal way, how he viewed the world--not taking anything for granted at an artificial level, but rather making oneself aware of and receptive to alternate and original perspectives that are not any less valid. "The state of mind of a photographer while creating is a blank," he once said. "It is a very active state of mind really, a very receptive state of mind, ready at an instant to grasp an image, yet with no image pre-formed in it at any time...Such a state of mind is not unlike a sheet of film itself--seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second's exposure conceives a life in it."

FATE SCORES was borne out of my experiences watching seemingly ordinary people waiting for public transportation. As a big-city subway rider for some 15 years, I can vouch that one can experience a wealth of human drama everyday, all day, at a place so seemingly mundane as a bench on a subway platform--but only if one is willing to be receptive to it. Everywhere we go, we each carry the experiences of a uniquely incredible journey that defies the obvious categorizations of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and class. When these complex journeys collide, human drama erupts.

There is a moment in FATE SCORES when two strangers form a fleeting emotional connection without ever exchanging a word. The younger woman, seeing that the older woman has dropped her keys, kindly goes over and picks them up for her. In the moment the keys exchange hands, the two woman become instantly aware that they share a deep sense of loss--the younger woman lost her father a year ago, while the older woman has been diagnosed with leukemia only moments before. In this seemingly random connection, both women find comfort in a perfect stranger.

I worked individually with each of the other nine wonderfully talented actors in FATE SCORES to develop vibrant and truthful characters who strongly reflect their own personal journeys. I am extremely grateful that these gifted actors had the courage to reveal aspects of their hearts to us in performances that I believe are absolutely compelling to watch. In fact, these characters are so interesting to watch that I decided to make FATE SCORES a silent film accompanied by an original musical score. Often, it is not words that matter but rather the emotions and body language behind them. Watching the film, I find that I can imagine every word the characters are saying.

I made FATE SCORES because I wanted to remind people to be vigilant and receptive to the magic that can happen all around us. At times of despair amidst the urban chaos of strangers, concrete, and deadlines, there is always a point to it all. We just need to be able to see it, and to realize that each person we encounter contributes in the very least a small, yet vital piece to our ever progressing journeys, allowing us to come into our own.

--Albert M. Chan

Story Synopsis

In an urban environment, two strangers--a guitarist (Albert M. Chan) and an introspective young woman (Heidi Rhodes)--cross paths at an empty concrete bench. One by one, additional strangers join the pair on the bench a distressed woman in a foot cast (Mary Niederkorn), an insecure jogger (Jonathan Vittum), a famished pregnant woman (Angela Gunn), an anxious businessman at lunch (Brian D. Evans), a curious child with an ice cream cone (Ben Katz), two quarrelsome women (Kandace Cummings and Katarina Morhacova), and a dignified collector of soda cans (Roxanne Y. Morse). Whereas the young woman discreetly observes the whirlwind of interactions between the strangers, the guitarist remains completely engrossed in fixing his broken guitar string. Despite their differing reactions to the activity at the bench, the guitarist and the young woman eventually discover they have something special in common.

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