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Rumination (film)

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Rumination is a 2017 science fiction drama short film written, produced, and directed by Chad Eric Smith. The film stars Kelvin Drama as “a heartbroken man who travels into the past for a second chance at a failed relationship”.[1] The cast also includes Angus Whinfield and Danny Gavigan. The Rogers Revue, "an online magazine dedicated to entertainment news and media events surrounding the Washington, D.C. & Baltimore Metropolitan Areas," compared Rumination's tone to Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Netflix’ Black Mirror.[2] Inspired by a personal experience with grief following a breakup, Smith began writing the screenplay in 2015.[3] The film’s title is a psychological term that means “the focused attention on the symptoms of one's distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.” [4] Smith coupled this concept with the topics of heartache and time travel.[5]

Rumination premiered on October 14, 2017 at the Reel Independent Film Extravaganza in Washington, DC.[6] It screened next at the Rosebud Film Festival, hosted by Arlington Independent Media, and won the “Best DMV Film” award.[7] It then screened in Boston, Massachusetts at the Somerville Theatre as part of the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and was noted for bringing diversity to the festival.[8]


  • Kelvin Drama as Elliott
  • Angus Whinfield as Monique
  • Danny Gavigan as Renard


Location and sets

Principal photography began on June 20, 2017 with the filming of all interior house scenes. On June 21, 2017, b-roll filming took place at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD.[9] The final phase of principal photography took place on July 25, 2017 at the DC Diner near the H Street corridor in Washington, D.C.


The film was shot primarily in the anamorphic format with a Sony FS-700. B-Roll footage was shot with a Sony α6300.

Sound design and music

The score for Rumination was written by Smith's father, Emmy Award-winning producer Jonathan Bey, and consisted of binaural beats in order to replicate the auditory illusions found in out-of-body experience induction music .[10]

Film Festival Screenings[edit]

Rumination was an official selection at many festivals across the country.[11]

  • The Reel Independent Film Extravaganza
  • The Rosebud Film Festival
  • Capitol Hill Film Classic
  • The Boston SciFi Film Fest
  • The Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival (The NOVA Fest)
  • The Maryland International Film Festival
  • The North Beach American Film Festival
  • The Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival
  • The Southern Maryland Film Festival
  • The Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival
  • The DC Black Film Festival


Critical reception

The film received critical praise for its themes, editing, musical score, and acting. Lauren Cash of The Rogers Revue gave Rumination an A+ and said it was "thought out and visually captivating".[12] William Powell of Blasting News said that Rumination was "a triumph of visual storytelling".[13] Stacy Cox of DecayMag.com said the "production brings out a rush of emotions".[14] Judith Swanson of BlackSci-Fi.com enjoyed the "emotional journey" and called the film's editing "flawless".[15]. K. Ceres Wright of Diverse Writers & Artists Of Speculative FIction said the film had a "heart-touching story with a surprise ending" and encouraged audiences to watch the post-credits scene for an extra "twist".[16] Actor Danny Gavigan received much praise for his performance as a neuroscientist on the autism spectrum. Gavigan became the first winner of the special jury prize: Platinum Award for Best Supporting Actor at the Independent Shorts Awards.[17]


In 2018, Rumination won the Rosebud Award for ‘Best DMV Film’; ‘Best Supporting Actor – Short Film’ (Danny Gavigan) and ‘Best Editing – Short Film’ (Kelvin J) at The NOVA Fest; Diamond Awards for ‘Best Sci-Fi’ at the LA Shorts Awards and the Mindfield Film Festival in Los Angeles; ‘Best Local Film’ at the Capitol Hill Film Classic; and the Platinum Award for Best Supporting Actor (Special Jury Prize – Danny Gavigan), Gold Award for Best Sci-Fi Short, and Gold Award for Best Editing (Kelvin J) at the Independent Shorts Awards.[18] It also won The Jury Prize at the 2018 Southern Maryland Film Festival. [19]



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