Promise

Directed by Sebastian Delascasas

Trailer

Fri Apr 5, 2024 – 5:00 pm | La Casa Grande
Tue Apr 9, 2024 – 7:30 pm | Beloit College Powerhouse

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Promise

Directed by Sebastian Delascasas
Narrative Short
United States | 10 min | 2022

What may seem like a normal night for friends Chris, Teo and Julian quickly turns sour and becomes a pivotal point in their lives when Chris tells Teo his darkest secret.

Among the most stunning directorial debuts I caught at Indy Shorts was Sebastian Delascasas’ “Promise,” a symphony of emotionally charged silences disrupted by sudden revelations. In the role of Chris, a teen who reveals a horrifying truth to his pal (played by Delascasas) during a night of video gaming, Rupert Fennessy is utterly mesmerizing—and his work is all the more impressive when one learns that he only had five hours to prepare for it. While speaking with Delascasas, he told me that he was born in Colombia, South America, and moved to Qatar in the Middle East at age seven before attending college at NYU.

“As the cultures around me very drastically changed, along with the people and their thoughts, I realized how the idea of right and wrong is what we actually make it be,” said Delascasas. “I am fascinated when people disagree on something, and if viewers leave my movie arguing about it, I’m happy. My idea with ‘Promise’ was to turn a question mark into a short film, and my favorite thing is hearing the audience uncomfortably shifting in their seats while watching it.”
Roger Ebert Reviews

“In watching thousands of films every year, I am driven by discovery and finding diamonds in the rough from cold submissions. When a short comes across my queue that is seemingly simple or expected and transforms into something much more profound and compelling, I get excited and imagine our audiences taking this same journey with me months later.”

“Promise” is a one-location, dialogue-driven story but subverts all expectations after its initial setup, offering a tense “what would you do?” scenario with believable acting and writing (something that is frankly much harder for filmmakers to execute, especially first-timers).

Director/writer/actor Sebastian Delascasas does so much with so little, and we anchored our “Let’s Be Honest” program at Indy Shorts with the film when initially piecing together the lineup. The film ended up being a world premiere at Indy Shorts, and we are thrilled to have launched Sebastian’s festival career with a story we believed in from the first viewing. Expect to hear much more about Sebastian in the years to come and check out “Promise” if you can!”

Greg Sorvig — Artistic Director, Heartland Film Festival
Heartland International Film Festival

The idea of morality has always fascinated me. Having been born in Colombia, raised in Qatar and now living in New York, I’ve been able to live through different social values and cultures, yet morality is something that almost always seems to remain subjective to the individual.

I came up with this story because I was trying to learn more about this topic. I wanted to know if people were born with this desire, or if one day they just chose that they wanted this. I couldn’t wrap my head around why someone would possibly want this.

As I dove deeper into my research, I started to realize that this was also a question about mental health. What could someone do if they felt this way? Which then made me think: What would I do if one my my friends told me something like this? What is the “right” thing to do? Especially when they haven’t done anything. I found myself asking my friends what they would do, soon realizing everyone had a very strong and very different opinion.

I aimed to turn that question into a film. To make a movie that forced people to question their moral compass. To ask themselves the question I had asked myself and asked my friends. “What would you do?” To me, a great film is a film that makes you question what you already know. It opens your eyes and shows you a different perspective on something you thought you understood. My goal for this film is to do just that; to linger in the audiences head long after the credits roll.

Promise. Poster

Promise - Sebastian DelascasasSebastian Delascasas
Director

Sebastian Delascasas was born in Bogota, Colombia but moved to Doha, Qatar at the age of 7. He grew up spending time between South America and the Middle East, where he was able to learn and explore the complexity and beauty of diversity and culture. He graduated from NYU Tisch in 2020, receiving the “Outstanding Achievement in Studio” Award. An award only given to 4 students per studio.
While studying in school he wrote and starred in the short film ‘6’, which screened at various film festivals around the world, winning several awards. He has starred in numerous films and plays since graduating.
His most recent credits include the role of Andy in the Off-Broadway play ‘How To Defend Yourself’ at the New York Theater Workshop, directed by Tony Winning director Rachel Chavkin, and the role of Cash in the Burn Later Productions feature film ‘Last Straw’, directed by Alan Scott Neal. His latest short film ‘Promise’ is Sebastian Delascasas’ directorial debut.

Film Information

Director:  Sebastian Delascasas
Country:  United States
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 10 min
Rated:  R

Credits

Writer:  Sebastian Delascasas
Producer:  Sebastian Delascasas, Sam Coppola, Indie Jansons
Cinematography: Teo Marinakis
Music: Jackson Lardner
Editor: Sebastian Delascasas

Connect With This Film

Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival