The Fay (2014) By Philip Smolen

While in a dense forest in France in the year 1194 a brave English knight (Tyler Oakley) fights for his life against superior French forces. Wounded, the knight stumbles deeper into the forest in an attempt to flee his pursuers. He is spotted by a fay (Sarah von Ouhl), a forest sprite. The fay tends to the knight’s wounds and gives him the kiss of life. But when the knight awakens, he is terrified of the creature and tries to flee, only to find that there are far more dangerous creatures lurking in the forest. Convinced that the fay means him no harm, the knight lets her tend his wound and is amazed to find that he is slowly falling in love with her as she has with him. But one day, the knight finds the medallion of his true love (Veronica Lane) in a nearby stream. Galvanized by her picture, he attempts to flee the forest only to find his path blocked by the sprite in every direction. It is only when the sprite realizes that the knight does not love her does she set him free, thereby dooming herself.

“The Fay” is an exceptionally beautiful fairly tale told entirely without dialogue. Filmed by producer/director Marc Bonocore and producer Leon Sanginiti, the 26 minute short is a fantasy film of the first order. This touching tale swept me into its magical world almost immediately. The stunning photography by Gerardo Puglia, David Deenan and Sanginiti is sumptuous.

All three main characters convey their emotions effectively. Especially convincing is Sarah von Ouhl as the fay. You can see the love that the sprite has for the knight and her pain when she realizes she needs to let him go. Her performance is both tender and heart-breaking. Tyler Oakly convincingly portrays first his fear, then his affection for his savior.

“The Fay” features an evocative music score by Annie Brunson and excellent make-up effects by David Deenan. A total world of fantasy is a tough thing to create. Bonocore and Sanginiti have succeeded in spades. All I can say is “Wow!”

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