Good filmmaking, like good writing, tells the truth.
That's what struck us about Cristy Trabada's short film "The Lunch Table," which takes an honest, sensitive, and unromantic look at the inner lives of a group of teenage friends who sit together at lunch every day.
Trabada is uniquely qualified to tell this story: the 17-year-old filmmaker is a senior at West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida. She told A Plus that she's been wanting to direct films since she was 10 years old.
Written and directed by Trabada and shot by cinematographer Francisco Cabrera, whose film "Plus One" was featured on A Plus earlier this year, "The Lunch Table's" strength lies in stark, unpretentious simplicity: it begins with a narrator in her room, reflecting on what it is she wishes she could write.
And so she thinks of her friends.
We've all known people like the ones who appear around this lunch table: People whose lives might look easy to outsiders, but are as complex as our own.
In a way, each of them contains some part of each of us: their stories are also our stories and the stories of those who we love and have loved.
In this way, we already know them. We have known them. We recognize them. And so we're moved by them.
The girl who doesn't know how beautiful she is.
The guy who hides his darkness behind a facade of happiness.
The girl whose parents expect her to be perfect.
And those who've loved and lost and still somehow continue.
Trabada captures them all.
"I wanted to write "The Lunch Table" because I have a group of friends who have really changed my life," said Trabada in an interview with A Plus, "and I wanted to write something to tell them thank you for always being there for me, and to show that everyone has a story behind them and not everything is as it seems. In my films, I want tell the stories of situations people don't want to talk about normally. Adolescence is a very confusing time in peoples lives and teens are often very misunderstood, so I want to tell the stories of people who go through situations like depression, harassment, etc. to bring awareness."
We think she accomplishes her mission very well. "The Lunch Table" is a film that deserves to be seen and Cristy Trabada is an upcoming filmmaker to keep an eye on.
Enjoy "The Lunch Table."
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