Near Human

A precocious, socially conscious teen video blogger searches for her birth parents through DNA testing and discovers she is the product of a genetic experiment and that her very existence is a threat to the powers that be.

  • Paul DellaPelle
    Lizard Boy, My Best Friend
  • Paul DellaPelle
  • Adonis Cruz
    Tiger Orange, Primitive
  • Paul DellaPelle
    Tiger Orange
  • Rylee Marshall
    Key Cast
    Grow-nish, The Shopping List
  • Rachel Riley
    Key Cast
    Giantess Attacks, The Brink
  • Project Type:
    Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 26, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Stareable Fest 2019
    United States
    July 21, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Stareable Fest 2019
    Brooklyn NY
    United States
    July 21, 2019
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Paul DellaPelle

After five years of grueling touring as the drummer for psychedelic/industrial/punk pioneer Helios Creed, Paul DellaPelle decided to re-visit the skills he acquired at Temple University’s School of Theater and Media Arts in Philadelphia. Gaining experience as an editor on everything from nursing education videos to indy shorts, he then teamed up with Adonis Cruz to form Picture Stable LLC in 2004, and the two have been producing everything from commercials to independent films on California’s Central Coast ever since.

Occasionally veering off the film and TV production path to pursue adventures in drumming - most recently with a stint touring and recording for several years with Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, Paul always finds his way back to the production studio. Director credits include the low budget sci-fi horror/comedy feature “Lizard Boy” and producer credits include “Tiger Orange” which won the award for best actor (Mark Strano) at Outfest LA in 2014. He also recently co-produced the feature “Coast” starring Fatima Ptacek, Melissa Leo, and Cristella Alonzo, shot in and around Santa Maria California in the summer of 2018.

Paul looks forward to the day when CRISPR gene editing technology will allow him to grow wings so he can more cost effectively visit his loved ones on the East Coast.

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Director Statement

Have you ever imagined growing your own set of wings? What would it be like to have a dog’s sense of smell? The strength of a gorilla? Now imagine if someone introduced physical alterations such as these in your body without your consent?

We find ourselves in an era where the “animal-human hybrid” science fiction fantasy of the past has become a reality. With the recent development of CRISPR gene editing technology and other biotech engineering procedures, raising questions about the ethics of tinkering with human life has never been more important. Scientists in China recently successfully edited the genes of twin girls while they were embryos, ostensibly to protect them from contracting HIV. Pigs with edited genomes enabling their organs to be harvested and transplanted into humans are now being bred on a regular basis. Although the international scientific community is struggling with the challenge of reaching a consensus on the ethical implications of this technology, the real problem is that these issues are currently treated as matters of research ethics, when in fact they raise political and social questions of fundamental importance to all of humanity.

Another subject within the “Near Human” web series that is intriguing to me is the intense scrutiny young people are exposed to in the social media driven world. The internet fish bowl can be simultaneously a forum for new ideas and an engine for conformity and marginalization. How will these online social dynamics play out in the near future, when physical and mental traits among individuals may be determined before birth by other humans who hold the power and authority to do so?

Lastly, the use of the documentary format and style of the series is meant to bring some believability, immediacy, and even some comic relief within an entertaining sci-fi story that hopefully gets people thinking and talking.

-Paul DellaPelle