Arts·Short Film Face Off

They both have a secret. Filmmaker Ethan Godel takes you on a date from a parallel universe

This short film has a sci fi twist that feels all too relevant

This short film has a sci fi twist that feels all too relevant

The couple at the centre of the short film Vessel. (Ethan Godel)

Filmmaker Ethan Godel's short film Vessel is set in a parallel world where dating has a twist. The film opens over foreboding music with a man and woman (played by Tim Blair and Kasi McAuley) on a date connecting over their shared love of T.S. Eliot. The interaction seems like an ordinary first date until a gradual close-up reveals something more complex is at play. Unbeknownst to one another, they're both getting help to keep the witty conversation alive. Each of the lovers wears a secret earpiece that's feeding them lines from their own mysterious dating coach. 

The idea for the film was born out of Godel and his co-writer Filip Lee's experience at parties where they realized that they were changing themselves to fit in.

Amanda Parris learns more about Vessel from filmmaker Ethan Godel

"We'd talk about these parties we'd go to and we'd have conversations with a bunch of people and we'd feel like we're just saying things that we don't necessarily believe," Godel tells host Amanda Parris, "but saying things and acting certain ways to make people like us more or appear more agreeable or more attractive to people."

"The image of the person in the van telling someone what to say, it's not new," Godel explains. "We took this idea and added this absurd other world to it."

The film, which is a finalist on Short Film Face Off, gives an eerie glimpse into a future that feels closer than ever when technology impacts the way we connect more and more each day. 

You can watch the full film Vessel and Ethan Godel on Short Film Face Off on CBC Gem.