Filipino American filmmaker Bobby Rubio confirmed on his social media accounts that he will be writing and directing a short film titled “Float” as part of Disney-Pixar’s Sparksshorts program which is described as “an experimental storytelling initiative that welcomes new creative voices at Pixar Animation Studios to share their stories.”
“Float” follows the story of a father, who upon discovering that his son floats, decides to hide him from the outside world to keep him safe from the judgement. But when the public learns of his son’s ability, the father must decide to either run, hide, or accept his son as he is.
In response to a tweet, Rubio acknowledged that the characters in his film are indeed Filipino.
He also stated “I am proud to tell our stories. I know what it means to see our culture represented on screen! #RepresentationMatters.”
Joining Rubio in the Sparkshorts program is Edwin Chang and his short “Wind” which is described as a “magical realism story about a Grandma and a Grandson trapped in a massive, never ending sinkhole, living on a large boulder suspended by strong winds. Together they scavenge falling debris to build an escape, hoping to find a better life in the outside world.”
Filmmaker Rosana Sullivan whose maternal family is from Malaysia where several of her stories are inspired from, will also join Chang and Rubio with her short “Kitbull” which tells the story of an unlikely relationship between a stray kitten and pitbull.
Other shorts joining the program include “Purl” written/directed by Kristen Lester, “Loop”, written/directed by Erica Milsom, and “Smash and Grab” written/directed by BrianLarsen.
Jim Morris, the President of Pixar Animation Studios said in a statement,
“The Sparkshorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows. These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare.”
“Kibtull,””Smash and Grab” and “Purl” will premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood starting on January 18th for an exclusive one-week run. They will then be available on YouTube next month – “Purl” (Feb 4th), “Smash and Grab” (Feb 11), and “Kitbull” (Feb 18).
The rest of the films have no release dates yet.
All of the Sparkshorts selected shorts will be available on Disney+, the upcoming Disney streaming service which is scheduled to launch later this year.