There is a new name that, for better or worse, you’re going to be hearing often over the next year: Jesús Orellana.

The Spanish comic artist spent a year and a hundred bucks making the all-CGI short film Rosa, which did well at festivals and is now making waves in Hollywood. There is a plan to develop Rosa as a feature, and with the internet debut of Rosa in the past twenty-four hours, Orellana is becoming the latest in a growing line of short film directors to attract agency and producer attention. Check out the short below and muse on whether this might be the new Neill Blomkamp.

First, check out Rosa:

ROSA from Jesús Orellana on Vimeo.

This is a pretty short, I guess. I understand the appeal of a guy who created those visuals at home, for no money, using consumer-grade equipment. If Orellana can get good jobs in positions that would take advantage of that initiative or adventurousness, I would applaud.

But as a piece of storytelling, there is nothing here. And Orellana wants to work as a live-action director, THR says. There is an attempt to generate a lot of mood and style, to no real effect. I don’t know who these people are, or what they want, or what this world is. Why are the characters fighting? Because they have different color eyes? (And why animate a fight like this? Live-action scenes like that work as physical performance. Animation doesn’t have physical limitations, so why be limited to recreating old kung-fu?) Why does the lead girl look like she’s sad that she has to work her Hot Topic shift on a Friday night? I read the blurb on the Rosa Vimeo page (below) and that explained some things, but none of what the blurb tells me comes across in the film.

ROSA is an epic sci-fi short film that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all natural life has disappeared. From the destruction awakes Rosa, a cyborg deployed from the Kernel project, mankind’s last attempt to restore the earth’s ecosystem. Rosa will soon learn that she is not the only entity that has awakened and must fight for her survival.

The short-film was created entirely by young comic-artist Jesús Orellana with no budget during a single year. Since it’s world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival, ROSA has been an official selection at film festivals around the world such as Screamfest, Toronto After Dark, Anima Mundi or Los Angeles Shorts Film Festival. In October ROSA was screened at the opening night of the Sitges International Film Festival, considered the world’s best festival specialized in genre films. Following the succesful festival run, the short film has attracted the attention of the major talent-agencies and Hollywood producers. Currently ROSA is in development to be a live-action motion picture.

Maybe Orellana has a lot more to offer. I’d like to see it, but based only on Rosa I’m not sold. What are your thoughts?

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