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Woodstock Film Festival: My Dead Dad

“Sometimes what a man wants to do and what he’s able to do are two different things.”

Lucas (Pedro Correa) was just hit with some devastating news. His dad Augusto (Ricardo Molina) is dead. Lucas has had a strained relationship with his father and its been 10 years since he’s seen him. So it came as a surprise when his dad left him a Los Angeles apartment building as an inheritance. Lucas leaves his mom and loser friends in Reno to make his way to LA. His plan is to quickly sell the joint, collect the money and go back to Reno. However, he finds himself more and more invested in the building and its tenants. Lucas gets tough love from the building’s supervisor Frank (Raymond Cruz) and has to be wary of his uncle (Steven Bauer) who is a little too eager to help Lucas sell the building. Lucas falls for Sophie (Courtney Dietz) who happens to be in a relationship with ne’er-do-well Gavin (Simon Rex). What Lucas didn’t expect was that in LA he’d find himself on a journey of discovery where he learns more about himself and his dead dad than he ever thought he would.

Co-written by Pedro Correa and Fabio Frey, My Dead Dad is a deeply empathetic coming-of-age story.  We become invested in Lucas’ journey as he pieces together a new narrative about his dad. The film weaves in home video style footage of Lucas’ dad and an audio recording that really makes the “dead dad” a fully realized character. I enjoyed the fish-out-of-water theme as well as how the main character grows and evolves throughout the story. There is a motley crew of supporting characters, all quirky and interesting in their own way. 

Throughout the film there are shots of LA, particularly tent cities, which offers a subtle nod to LA’s homeless situation. Correa is founder of Hollywood for Homeless, which according to Never Norm Films’ website their mission is to “collect excess wardrobe and snacks from film and TV sets, shop for bulk necessities, package them with care, and deliver them directly to those who need it in the streets of LA.”

“I hope it gives our audience a sense of catharsis, the way it did for us, and the courage to revisit memories they have buried away.”

Director Fabio Frey

My Dead Dad had its world premiere at the 2021 Woodstock Film Festival. Visit the film’s official website for more information.

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