Determined Spirits (2011) – By Michael E. Smith

Written, directed and produced by Diana Rumjahn, Determined Spirits is the story of a young superstitious woman who receives a “curse” via an envelope with the 4 Ming Lee written on it. 4 being a bad number in China (it can mean death), combined with the colors of black and white.

She calls her aunt and asks how she can protect herself against this curse.

This short film’s production values are very good, although the computer generated effects are a bit “stilted” and unfortunately look computer generated. This combined with a slightly confusing narrative of sequences does take away from the overall feeling the film is meant to generate. Fortunately, the soundtrack of the film makes up the difference, providing a suitably creepy and other worldly quality to the action.

Determined Spirits has been nominated twice; once for Best Film and once for Best Soundtrack. It also won an Honorable Mention For Best Short-Horror-Fantasy-Science Fiction, Asians on Film Festivals, United States.

It’s worth a look just to see how well Rumjahn works as a “one-person” industry.