Straight 8’s annual Shootout is a test of wit and creativity. Fit for the most daring and innovative minds, The Lift worked alongside director and longtime friend Alex Kahan to create “Baba,” a too-close-for-comfort drama, within the strict guidelines of the competition.

The rules of the Shootout mandate that participants shoot a 2.5 minute film in one single Super 8 cartridge, and then submit the film as is, sight unseen. No editing or post-production touch-ups are permitted, which also requires that the soundtrack be made without the director having watched the film. The first time anyone, including the director, can watch the film is at the competition’s live premiere. This year, the films were viewed at the Cannes Film Festival, presented by APA and Cinelab Film & Digital.

Drawing on his proximity and fondness of Mexican urban culture, Alex brought to life a surreal drama that hits close to home after the past few years of pandemic-induced isolation which forced many to live in close quarters with family, friends, and possibly foes, as we avoided crowded public spaces. “Baba is about disconnection and miscommunication in an overly connected world,” Alex explained. “Baba is slang for drool, trying to communicate with someone at the worst moment and how that can lead to misunderstanding.” The film is hauntingly familiar, with a couple committing minor nuisances towards one another – bumping into an unstable table, brushing shoulders as they pass in a tight hallway – until it all amounts to them foaming at the mouth with toothpaste and pent up aggression.

“The crew involved were excited to be working in this format,” said Alex about our team at The Lift, who assisted him in bringing this unique vision to life. “Everyone enjoyed the process and tried not to worry too much about the outcome.” Never straying away from a challenge, The Lift has participated in the Shootout for several years in a row. Our team allows out-of-the-box thinking to flow freely even in the most constricted settings, making us the perfect partners for creatives like Alex who bring a fresh perspective to audio-visual language.

Scroll below to watch “Baba” now and click here to read more about one of our previous entries.