Heavy Soul

USA, 2005

1959 – In a world of teenage lust and twisted morals, it’s hard to keep one’s innocence. With a simple roll of the dice, the child becomes a predator.
The saint, a sinner.


Winner: The School of Visual Arts ‘Outstanding Achievement in Directing’ award for 2005.
Winner: “Best Narrative” & “Best of the Festival” Awards at the Artsfest Film Festival

Previous Screenings:


* July 13 – The Jerusalem Film Festival.
* July 13 – The Long Island Film Expo.
* June 24 – Billyburg Short Film Festival, Brooklyn.
* June 8 – Brooklyn International Film Festival.
* May 27 – Artfest, Harrisburg, PA.
* May 1 – Brooklyn Independent Screening Series.
* April 7, 8, 9 – hi/lo Film Festival, San Francisco
* Mar 12, 14, 17 – SXSW – Reel shorts 3, Austin.
* Mar. 1 – Anthology Film Archives, New York


* Dec. 14 – Ocularis, NYC
* Dec. 10 – Santa Fe Film Festival
* Dec. 9 – Santa Fe Film Festival
* Nov. 25 – The Miami Short Film Festival.

Select Reviews:

“The screaming immediacy of “Heavy Soul” characterizes who Oren Shai will continue to be as a filmmaker… He’s got it. I don’t think the ‘50s have ever been quite this extreme in any film and this is some trip.”
Rory L. Aronsky, Film Threat

“Oren Shai knows how to draw attention to a film… it is an accomplished, stylish, well-made short with a star-turn by Sally Conway.”
Jonathan Marlow, The Greencine Daily Blog

“A Lifetime movie as directed by David Lynch, with a script by Cornell Woolrich, with a smattering of Russ Meyer and John Waters influences at the back of the palette”
John Oak Dalton, MicrocinemaScene

“Shot with a $10,000 budget and on 16mm film, Heavy Soul looks and feels more professional than a good number of features I’ve seen… If this is any indication of what we can expect from Shai, I look forward to his first feature.”
Film Guru.Net

Heavy Soul is highly recommended for those who enjoy taking a cinematic walk on the wild side every now and again. A word of warning, though: You will likely find yourself deliriously tempted to make repeat journeys down this film’s twisted, spiralling rabbit hole. Just remember to proceed with caution, as this kicky head-trip boasts more unexpected turns than an ominous labyrinth of doom.”
Cam Smith, It’s Just Movies

“In these days when virtually everyone has a chance to make a film (which itself is a great thing), it’s easy to point out where the talent is. Right now I point out Oren Shai.”
Esa Linna, EMVG

“Oren Shai genre-hops – from black-and-white Reefer Madness-inspired educational films to color-saturated Lynchian scenes – to tell the story of a young girl and her bad trip down the road of addiction.”
James Renovitch, The Austin Chronicle

“Shot on 16mm on a budget of $10,000, “Heavy Soul” looks better than some features that cost millions… Will somebody with bankroll please give Oren Shai a budget to make a feature film?”

“‘Heavy Soul’ in all its weirdness feels immensely genuine as if it’d jumped out of the fifties era and hardly ever looks like a true indie.”
Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema-Crazed

“Very stylized, a light hearted romp nonetheless that was nothing short of deranged fun.”
The Austin Daze

“Heavy Soul successfully treads the fine line between parodying the sensational nature of the genre while still treating addiction as a serious and disturbing issue”
Monsters At Play

“With Heavy Soul, Oren Shai walks the fine line between parody and homage, and does so to great effect. He clearly has a great deal of affection for the teen culture of the time, as well as for the period’s exploitation films, but this doesn’t stop him from mercilessly sending up the cultural paranoia that was also very much in evidence at the time.”
Paul Pritchard, Pulp Movies