Projects: shorty



"shorty" now available on DVD!

"shorty", along with "mirrors", is available on a single DVD for industry professionals, by request.

Serious inquiries only. Contact Us.

"shorty" Feature-length Screenplay completed!

A feature-length screenplay of shorty is available to industry professionals, by request.

Serious inquiries only. Contact Us.


from Baltimore City Paper Online, December 2001

(excerpt) Jon Chang's "shorty" turns an 18th-century classic into a 21st-century black romance. Using the structure of Cyrano de Bergerac, the director confronts established ideas about black manhood.

"I present Eric, who is the stereotype of the urban black male that is common in our popular media," Chang says in an e-mail interview. "I also present Russell, who is the alternative to that stereotype - the underrepresented male image who is kind, caring, soft-spoken, and respectful to women. It is an alternative image to the negative stereotype we are inundated with in our popular culture." Chang doesn't steer clear from dictating which road his characters should take. "If I want the audience to feel for Eric, it is because he needs to change, and maybe we see a glimpse of him changing because of Russell's example."

--John Barry

from, June 2001

2001 Acapulco Black Film Festival
The HBO Short Film Award Competition

Acapulco, Mexico - The 2001 Acapulco Black Film Festival kicked off its fifth annual festival on Monday night with the HBO Short Award Competition at the Alarcon Theater Convention Center. Actress Tamara Tunie (The Caveman's Valentine, The Devil's Advocate) was the host for the evening. The format was simplistic, yet very effective. Each film was introduced and at its conclusion, the filmmaker was introduced to the audience. The award recognizes and encourages artistic excellence in African-American cinema. The winner was announced at the closing night award show last Saturday. And the nominees are...

"Big Bank Take Little Bank" - directed by Mad Matthews
A record producer finds himself on a lonely street late one night. He exits his vehicle momentarily to "relieve himself" and discovers much to his horror upon returning that his vehicle has a "special" guest. That is only the beginning in a strange tale that will land a "gangster" a record deal - with the producer he's trying to rob!

Reel Take: The film is a whimsical farce that examines gangterism in the music business. Matthews takes a harrowing situation and finds the humor in it. Film's structure gives it a feeling that it is a shorter film than what it is.

"Caper's Fish" - directed by Ezekiel Dickson
Film follows a once-promising saxophonist who has fallen on hard times and reduced to playing on street corners. His enchanting sounds attract Little Man; a young boy who is determined stay with the musician. Just as the two are starting to develop a bond, tragedy strikes. Is it a tragic ending or a new beginning?

Reel Take: The film introduces the main characters, but the director's shooting style gets in the way of the story initially. The title of the film is lifted from the biblical saying, give a man to fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he'll eat forever. Ultimately, the film bogs down because the filmmaker does not do a good job tying all the loose ends together.

"Episodes" - directed by Desha Dauchan
Two childhood friends, Jamaica and Star grow up -- and apart in this drama that examines life choices, secrets and friendship. Jamaica is pregnant once again and in love with a man who constantly disrespects her. Her girlfriend Star has always been there for her, but tires of her friend's poor judgment and bad attitude. Jamaica reaches out to Star one more time; can the two friends heal their rift and save their friendship?

Reel Take: The film is visually arresting. The black-and-white cinematography is really the star of this film. Dauchan pulls back the curtain and lets us in on the dialogue between two black women and some of the problems that they deal with men and each other. Any movie that opens with a scene of a black woman in a tub of milk has won me over! One of the best films in the competition.

"Kickin' Chicken" - directed by Joy Phillips
Satirical film begins with Sherise (Tangie Ambrose) leaving rehab after trying to kick a dangerous habit - her addiction to chicken! She's trying to stay clean, but temptation is everywhere. But the only way to survive is one day at a time, but can she kick chicken or is she doomed to a life with the yardbird?

Reel Take: Easily the funniest film in the competition. Phillips does a wonderful job of poking fun with our obsession of chicken to comment on other addictions that take place in our community. Very well received with the festival crowd and will definitely be in the mix for the grand prize.

"shorty" - directed by Jon Chang
This latest update on Cyrano finds short, yet sensitive Russell pining for his "best friend" - who happens to want to go out with an arrogant and insensitive friend. Predictably, the courtship fails when the insensitive friend forgets his lines and has to "be himself." Will the nice guy finish first? Well...

Reel Take: The most complete film, start to finish, in the competition. Film is very well done with wonderful performances from the four principal actors. Another festival favorite and again, will be in the mix for the top prize.

Who should win: "Episodes", for its beautiful cinematography and gritty and realistic story.

Who will win: "shorty", for its romantic story about finding love in the most unlikely places.

--Tim Gordon

from The Talent Report, May 2000

"shorty" combines the inner-city basketball formula with the Cyrano tale. The title character's physical weakness is lack of height, putting him at a disadvantage not only in the tall man's sport of basketball, but also in the competitive world of dating. This modern telling pairs a handsome but dumb ladies man with the short and sensitive Russell (aka "shorty") who feeds his better-looking but crude partner love lines.

Chang successfully shatters sexist myths about urban black males. The strongest scenes are those in which the characters' inner desires and conflicts are revealed through naturalistic interactions. Andre Canty's performance as the sensitive and responsible shorty is utterly convincing.

--Caryn Mendez