• Naomi Garcia Pasmanick
  • Naomi Garcia Pasmanick
  • Natalie Teter
    American Paradise
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 55 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director - Naomi Garcia Pasmanick
Director Statement

After the traumatic loss of a friend last year, I began thinking about the connections that occur between people that can seem almost inevitable. Reflecting on the ecstasy of serendipitous chance encounters I also considered the importance of letting go, of letting those singular moments exist on their own. As a creative outlet to these reflections, I decided to write my first screenplay, Encuentros.

Set in the dreamy and dilapidated edges of the San Francisco Bay, Encuentros establishes a world that, similar to a dreamscape, explores existential questions through signs and symbols. A mysterious car who picks up two strangers underlines the question of the vehicle that takes us through life: is it chance or choice? Ordinary occurrences such as dreams, flowers and stones act as vectors for the spiritual realm. In the bayside world of Encuentros, strangeness and familiarity coexist.

Created by San Francisco natives in the watery edges of a city that is rapidly changing, this film intends to capture an intimate moment—the brief yet profound spiritual connection between two strangers-- as well as this unique moment in an industrial San Francisco setting that is rapidly being developed. Just like the ever-changing water’s edge, Encuentros asks us to appreciate the beauty of an instant as well as the necessity of letting it go.

Though the film is in English, the title in Spanish suggests the experimentation with multilingualism that occurs throughout the film. Drawing from the well of talented musicians in San Francisco, the original sound track in Spanish and Portuguese reflects the Brazilian, Hispanic, and San Franciscan influences on the story, as well as the idea that a spiritual connection can exist across language and cultural barriers.