Private Project


SHOEBOX is about a personal journey through love. It regroups elements anyone can relate to. An unexpected encounter that pushes you immediately beyond your comfort zone. It's about having the courage to become and express who you are, and love is the catalyst.

It's a story about a young man Alex who meets another young man, Sasha. The context of a bicycle race in LA brings a singular dynamic and visually stands for the inner emergency to find the love interest, and in a greater scope oneself.

The message is that love gives direction in life and courage; that a haphazard meaningful encounter can put perspective in one’ s life transgressing cultural, religious barriers or any upbringing. It’ s about opening up to the world. Being vulnerable to get stronger and accepting to let go in order to embark fully into one’ s personal journey.

  • Pascal HALIM
  • Pascal HALIM
  • Pascal HALIM
  • Anitra STEVENS
  • Virginie DROUOT
  • Anthony DEL NEGRO
    Key Cast
  • Pascal HALIM
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 10, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K Digital
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Hollywood Short+Sweet Film festival 2018
    Los Angeles
    United States
    September 15, 2018
    North American premiere
    Official Selection
  • REELING the Chicago LGBTQ International Film Festival 2018
    United States
    September 28, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Paris Play Film Festival 2019
    Official Nomination
Director Biography - Pascal HALIM

Pascal is a writer, director and photographer from Paris. Thanks to his parents' professions as classical musicians, Pascal grew up surrounded by music, which inspired in him countless emotions, images and dreams. After completing a degree in Cinema at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris, he went on to study film at Columbia College Hollywood in Los Angeles in order to acquire a more practical approach to film making. Those years at Columbia College Hollywood provided the opportunity to learn various aspects of production, direction and post-production. He graduated in 2002.

Afterwards, Pascal began a career as a photographer and worked with many artists. For him, searching for the expression of sensibility in his subjects is essential to evoke its unique essence in a poetic way. Since then, he has continued to develop his photo and video projects, working on different productions from reality TV to short and feature films and music videos. Pascal has sharp artistic awareness which he devotes to photography and to writing as well. In 2016 he wrote and directed Shoebox, his first short film that tells the story of two young men who share an unexpected encounter that pushes them out of their comfort zone. This short, which launched his directing career, was selected for the 2018 Hollywood Short+Sweet Film Festival and for Reeling 2018, The 36th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival.

Living in Los Angeles and constantly surrounded by creative energy, Pascal has a very clear vision of what he wants to capture on screen. By combining his sharp eye as a photographer with his intuitive storytelling skills he seeks to dig deeper into all the facets of human nature and to bring to life compelling, unconventional stories.

Pascal conceptualized and wrote a feature script called "Blind Spot", an unconventional love story in modern America, an original script he's completed in 2018. "Blind Spot" is currently on the market and Pascal is developing other feature film treatments and short projects.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I had the idea for this story after something similar happened to a friend of mine in Paris. I thought it was good grounds to expand it and give it a larger perspective so I started working on the story and adapted it to a Los Angeles setting.
This project depicts a journey, beyond the goal to reach. How will the character overcome the invisible walls surrounding his life and transcend the transition from his own personal experience into the world. For once a step forward is taken, there is no going back.

The idea for the main character did resonate in me particularly as I left home very young to go study abroad and I was quite reserved myself. And various experiences including falling in love did change the course of my life as I discovered parts of myself I didn’t know existed.

Being a photographer and growing up in Paris, aesthetic is therefore important to me. This is why I wanted SHOEBOX to be a visual experience as much as a musical one. Hence the choices I made in terms of equipment, lenses, way of filming…. I also took on personally the challenge to find the best locations to suit my vision. As for the musical experience, music being the third main character of the story I really wanted this film to have a beat, a rhythm. The Chase scene from Midnight Express was the primary inspiration for the music my composer created.

Why SHOEBOX? I wanted this film to have a poetic dimension, as if suspended in time. In French there is an expression that says “finding shoe to your foot”, meaning finding love, someone who fits yourself perfectly. Therefore by extension, the idea of a shoe box, literally as two shoes can fit inside and make a pair; also because it does trigger the idea of a memory, a moment suspended in time.

The meaning behind the names of the characters, the wheel, the emphasis on the chain are so many elements that layer the film and add depth to it without being pretentious, so hopefully people will see more than what it appears to be: a bicycle race across town.

Because this is a film about taking action, I wanted the direction and pace to reflect the emergency of the moment. The pace accelerates throughout the film. It starts slowly to speed up drastically at journey’s starting point to enhance the idea of movement and action. The camera put on the bike was meant to add an impression of liberation and impulse. The color tones from beginning to end evolve from cold to warm as main character progresses through his personal journey.

Even though the dialogue between the two protagonists gives enough information for the main character to find the other these lines are just the crumbs for Alex to find Sasha, and in the end, to find his own path and only music could universally express the emergency of the moment in a poetic way, hence this synthy 80s style choice.
The comedic dimension is here to relieve and bring air to the story in the form of two characters that may appear to be clichés in the American society but portrayed positively. Clichés are interesting for they carry patterns that do tell something about people without defining or judging. These two characters also are a reminder of the main theme of the story: love as they are a couple.

Lastly, I wanted this short film to be as entertaining as engaging emotionally and psychologically. Love is a form of deliverance and empowerment. It makes people go beyond their limitations which often stop them from experiencing profound emotions. The message is that love gives direction in life and courage; that a haphazard meaningful encounter can put perspective in one’s life transgressing cultural, religious barriers and any upbringing. It’s about opening up to the world. Being vulnerable to get stronger and accepting to let go to embark fully into one’s own life journey.