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Darrell Lake in Erica A. Watson’s short film “Roubado”

*Writer-director Erica A. Watson shot her short film “Roubado” as a senior thesis project at the University of Southern California, where she graduated last year with an MFA.

The film, about a shy Afro-Portuguese teen whose solace behind his 35mm Minolta camera is abruptly shattered, is now among the dozens of works being screened at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles – another crowning achievement for the 26-year-old filmmaker from Detroit.

Watson is also a directing fellow for Film Independent’s Project Involve, as well as a Sundance Institute Knight Fellow.

Erica A. Watson

Erica A. Watson

A regular at the Cannes Film Festival since 2009 – with entries in the short film category each year – she returned in January 2014 to shoot “Roubado,” the Portuguese word for “stolen.”

The intense short follows Alain (Darrell Lake) as he deals with the split of his parents and hatred of his mother’s new live-in boyfriend by escaping behind the lens of his camera. The film is both beautifully shot and unapologetically intense. A must see.

Watson also scored a Panavision New Filmmaker Grant as well as support from Kodak, The Sundance Institute Film Music Program, Panavision Marseille, and the city of Cannes for the film.

Watch the trailer below:

Jean-Pierre Vertus (“La Fleur d’Haïti”) is unnerving as Alain’s mom’s new boyfriend, Tiffany Tenille (“Golden Smiles”) plays Alain’s love interest and Mickaëlle Bizet (“Beautiful Destroyer”) stars as Alain’s mother.

Remaining screening times of “Roubado”:

Fri, Feb 13 at 10:30 p.m.
Sun, Feb 15 at 11:30 a.m.
Mon, Feb 16 at 7:00 p.m.

Watch a behind-the-scenes featurette on “Roubado” below: