Color, 2013, 9m.
Directed by Jay Jennings
Starring Rando Thomas, Jordan Tygh, Stacie Richards Dail, Mike Cahill, Steven Brown

Considerably less profane than his feature Hell to Pay, Jay Jennings' brief but potent short "The Drowning" goes for a decidedly more somber change of pace and offers a portrait in despair with a cast of nameless characters coping with the often brutal whims of the universe. A father (Thomas) loses his son in a swimming pool drowning after receiving a bizarre warning from a Hollywood Blvd. street preacher (Brown), and try as he might, he can't seem to climb out of his emotional pit even with the aid of a shrink (Cahill). As you might imagine, it doesn't have a happy ending.

Shot on digital video and about as visually raw as you can get, this is aesthetically pretty similar to Jennings' prior feature except in color, often looking appropriately dreary and grim at times. Thomas has to do most of the heavy lifting, acting-wise, and does a commendable job sinking into his psychological abyss.

Currently available only in digital screener form, "The Drowning" is the sort of ambitious and fascinating small film whose awareness could spread through word of mouth. For now you can check out the trailer here and get an idea of what lies in store.