Indiewire has partnered with NoBudge, a site dedicated to showcasing innovative low budget filmmaking, to present some of the most exciting new work in independent film. Each month actor/filmmaker Kentucker Audley will select a highlight from the NoBudge film library and premiere it right here on Indiewire. Check out this month’s short, “HEALTHY: A Documentary,” and be sure to watch more great films at www.NoBudge.com.
A young man attempts to eat healthy for two weeks in this deadpan satirical short. Firmly lo-fi but wholly entertaining and original, the film is built around a hilarious voiceover and other wry techniques to suggest a genuine documentary. But it’s actually something much stranger.
Director Hunter Zimny plays the twentysomething man who is trying to turn his life around. Five days into his ordeal, he doesn’t feel any better, so he ups the ante by visiting a spiritual adviser he finds online named Leaf. She opens the door in a kimono, greeting him with an obligatory “namaste,” before spraying purification oils over his body and rubbing a baby hawk wing (“from Nebraska”) across his forehead. He never engages with the woman’s attempts, instead showing more interest in whether Leaf is her real name, but he does walk away with the curious decision that he needs to head to Vermont.
Zimny gets a lot of mileage from his skillfully awkward mannerisms. He has the ability to make mundane seem ridiculous, and a shaky wit that feels incisive because it’s in service of a larger point about the fickle nature of humans, himself included.
Weaving in a couple well-placed old time tunes that punctuate moments of sarcasm, “HEALTHY” takes aim at a culture of quick fixes that never work. It’s uniquely funny stuff from a fresh point of view made by a young filmmaker to watch.