Writer-director David Hartstone’s new age science-fantasy, Desert Sky, concerns the exploits of a young woman named Sky (Lexa Gluck) in a magic-filled futuristic landscape. Sky, her mother-in-law Ouma (Cammie Middleton), and son Ziah (Riley Looc) hide out in the desert in the shadow of a monstrous purple city run by Sky’s father. This short is seriously focused on the magic, referred to as “the wild.” Sky and Ouma are at various stages of mastering it. To be gifted with magic, we learn you must have “the wild” in you.
The story begins as Sky attempts her first powerful spell, the love star. Unfortunately, and to her regret, casting it brings her ex, and Ouma’s son, Rayf (Ezekiel Ajeigbe), out looking for her. Sky apparently is a fugitive of her father’s city, who desperately wants his grandson back. Obviously, this creates a bad situation all around. Also, once a fugitive, you’re constantly on the run.
“…Sky attempts her first powerful spell, the love star.”
The acting across the board is solid. It was wise to keep the cast very small, as Desert Sky is a short sci-fi fantasy hybrid, and not a lot of time to develop character. I found the interplay to be best developed between Ouma and Sky. These women are the spine of the story, and it is important to know how they view each other, as Sky’s father is clearly an enemy of Ouma.
The special effects used to portray “the wild” and various spells are pretty good. I enjoyed the purple aura that manifests every time someone wields this version of magic. The desert landscape was quite effective as a backdrop. Desert Sky is a fun short film and worth a gander.
"…a fun short film and worth a gander."