German filmmaker Daniel Rübesam is one to keep an eye on. Those who have a finger on the pulse of the international genre film festival circuit may know him as the writer-director of When Demons Die, a graduation film that ended up playing Sitges, L.A. Shorts and the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, to name but a few.
His latest short, Pandora, was commissioned by Traumatica, a horror event in Germany, and is made within certain mainstream-oriented constraints. Geared towards online event promotion, Rübesam makes the best of a post-apocalyptic setup that is mostly nondescript:
In a world where things have very much gone to pot for mankind, survivors have banded together in a resistance that attempts to fight off their oppressors. A military outfit is sent to explore an underground facility in search of Pandora – a half-breed of shadows and man – who may become an unlikely savior to mankind, but at what cost?
The short teeters on the edge of rescue mission and assassination contract to keep audiences guessing until the final outcome. Rübesam knows how to choreograph fight scenes, while high-quality VFX and top-notch lighting make Pandora easy on the eyes.
Pandora is a strong technical calling card, but here’s hoping the next slice will crank up the originality and give Rübesam full artistic control once more.