ANNA: A Short Film by Forte Film Entertainment

The movie poster for the brilliant indie short, ANNA.

The movie poster for the brilliant indie short, ANNA.

“I thought that death would bring me the peace I ached for.”
So begins ANNA, quite possibly the most emotional zombie film I’ve ever watched. In less than five minutes, Brandi Bravo and Forte Films Entertainment tell a clearer and more poignant story than a big-budget Hollywood feature can in three hours.
Anna is a zombie who despises herself. She hates what she has become, and she tries repeatedly to end her unlife in different ways. But again and again she is compelled to go on: to go on killing and eating, binging and purging, and hating herself the entire time. I won’t describe the ending, because the final line brings the story together in such stark clarity that it took my breath away. I won’t spoil the magic for other viewers.
Brandi Bravo, who plays the title role, is a professional actress with a BFA in Drama. In addition to multiple television and film roles, Bravo has performed on stage and has written and directed her own solo show, Women of Smoke. ANNA has earned her a much-deserved nomination for Best Actress at the 2014 Macabre Faire Film Festival. Her skill and pathos bring a level of emotion to her role unheard of in a zombie movie.
ANNA is the first film directed by Matthew Forte of Forte Films Entertainment. FFE has released several other films directed by Kevin Forte: The Appointment, Orlock, and Last Laugh. All of these excellent movies can be viewed on their official website and on Youtube. Their upcoming new release, Lasporum, is about three renegade angels who abandon heaven to fulfill a mission of their own design on earth, one that involves bloodshed and religious zealots. Lasporum is currently in pre-production and is expected to be released early in 2014.
It would be very easy for an indie short like ANNA to be unintentionally funny, to dissolve into the sort of cheesy gore known and loved among zombie fans. But the talent of those involved avoids that trap by a comfortable margin. The stark setting, nightmarish camera angles (crooked, off-center, not quite right), and monotone narration are clean and professional. The special effects are bloody without being gratuitous. The killing and consumption are gruesome, but what comes after she feeds is far more disturbing. The core message of the film is not a pretty one, and the movie’s matter-of-fact horror bears this out.
Like FFE’s other films, ANNA can be viewed on both Youtube and FFE’s official website. It is definitely worth watching, though not for the faint of heart. I look forward to the release of Lasporum and any feature-length works they may release in the future.