Alberto and the Concrete Jungle

"Alberto" introduces us to a new adventure hero, portrayed by rising Puerto Rican actor Alejandro Santoni. Follow him as he tries to escape an absurdly unyielding New York City and its diverse frustrating characters. Filmed guerilla-style in the middle of real street life, with a loose 70s-era Cassavetes energy, "Alberto" subverts, deconstructs, and transforms the adventure genre into something Kafkaesque. Original music score by acclaimed composer Ljova.

  • Chris Shimojima
    6-minute Mom (short), Do You Like Me Now? (short), JT vs. the Good Guys (short)
  • Chris Shimojima
  • Paull Cho
    Five Thirteen, 1982, Tallulah, X/Y,
  • Chris Shimojima
  • Hill Harper
  • Alejandro Santoni
    Key Cast
    "Al B."
  • Alexander Wraith
    Key Cast
    Orange is the New Black, Savages
  • Sonia Couling
    Key Cast
    Paradise Beach
  • Brittany Mirabile
    Key Cast
    The Purge: Election Year
  • Eileen Weisinger
    Key Cast
    High Maintenance, Iron Man
  • David Pendleton
    Key Cast
    It Comes At Night
  • Julie Voshell
    Key Cast
  • Rami Margron
    Key Cast
    FBI, Burn Country
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 39 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 2, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Panasonic GH5
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Bushwick Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    October 21, 2020
    World Premiere
    Best Actor
  • Big Apple Film Festival
    New York, New York
    United States
    November 13, 2020
    Best Feature Film
  • Portland International Film Festival
    Portland, OR
    United States
    March 5, 2021
    North American West Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Cinequest Film & VR Festival
    San José, CA
    United States
    March 20, 2021
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Chris Shimojima

A background in classical piano taught Chris how to listen to the things around him and make sense of the themes. That sense of observing and assimilating is how he approaches his films. He received his BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, then joined the high-profile digital agency R/GA as a video editor. He has 4 x Vimeo Staff Picks, an AICP nomination, film festival awards, and a YouTube “top 10 Made-for-the Web shows” credit. His work has appeared in Nowness, Directors Notes, and various press outlets. As a commercial director, his clients have included Arena Water Instinct, Tyson, Audio-Technica, ADT, US Lacrosse, Nike, JACK Casino, Northwestern Mutual, and Zurich Insurance.

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Director Statement

I have two opposing impulses. When I was a kid, my dad hooked me on Indiana Jones. I've always wanted to make my own adventure film, to rekindle that sense of classic dramatic optimism that I think is missing nowadays from the tentpole Hollywood blockbusters. There's an adventurer in me, wandering the world, exploring new cultures or new types of projects.

On the flip side, I'm the kind of person that gets very attached. I can't actually get comfortable with any place unless I bond with it. And when that happens, when my emotional memories get imprinted there, I'm devastated to leave it behind.

As an Asian American kid, I never totally identified with my mostly non-Asian friends, and without a traditional upbringing, I didn't identify with my Asian relatives either. Home is the only place I've ever really belonged, and it's where I busied myself with creative projects that could put me in touch with themes that were more universal. When my parents sold my childhood house some years back, I was rootless. I returned to my apartment in NYC and wondered about all the others in this city "renting" their lives.

I love New York for its blunt vibrancy. I've always wondered, what if we could place an adventure film in the middle of all of it and really make it feel like it's ripped from the streets? But more than that, I wanted to subvert the genre. Losing the house put me in a state of mind to question the free-spirited lifestyle. This isn't a quest for the Holy Grail. It's about what we must compromise if we want to be free.

- CS