Award of Excellence – Love’s Call (USA)

Title: Love’s Call
Runtime: 8 min
Country: USA
Director: Stephanie Haugaard Torres
Placement: Award of Excellence
Competition: December, 2023

Synopsis: Rafaela, a 12-year-old girl, engages in a typical sibling spat with her 8-year-old sister, Camila, over sharing. Their mom intervenes, warning Rafaela about skipping summer camp unless she reconciles with Camila. Later, in a fit of frustration, Rafaela destroys Camila’s game, leading to another confrontation. Alone in her room, Rafaela feels an inexplicable wind that transports her to a parallel world.

In this strange realm, Rafaela wakes up to a spotless room with her drawings restored. As she explores, she encounters an ominous void, accompanied by a creepy whisper calling her. In the real world, their mom tries to reach Rafaela but assumes she’s occupied. Unbeknownst to her, Rafaela faces a haunting whisper in the parallel world.

Terrified, Rafaela locks herself in her room, but the creepy whisper persists. She attempts to color her drawings but finds her efforts futile. Remembering her fight with Camila, Rafaela decides to revive Camila’s broken pet game. The whisper demands the game, escalating to a request for Rafaela to surrender herself.

In a moment of desperation, Rafaela peers into the void, where the whisper mimics Camila’s voice. In the real world, Camila cries in their mom’s arms, who reassures her that Rafaela is likely with a friend. On the other side of the void, Rafaela retrieves the items that triggered the fight and steps through, finding Camila on her bed. The sisters reconcile, embracing and coloring together, symbolizing their renewed bond.