BENSONHURST — Bensonhurst-born actor Brian Wolfe gives a powerful performance in the new Adam Grannick-produced short film “American Quartet,” which will premiere on March 5 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens as part of the Philip K Dick Film Festival.
The science fiction film was directed by Jesca Prudencio, head of directing at San Diego State University, and stars Yekta Khaghani alongside Wolfe in his first lead role.
The futuristic fantasy is set in 2037 and reveals a world of discrimination and injustice. The story revolves around the newest digital device, a telepathic diary. The popular diary records emotions and memories for the purpose of re-experiencing them.
The film is set in a small town bitterly divided over who belongs, as a young Muslim-American woman in love with her local city councilwoman puts herself at risk when she shares her private, digitized memories with strangers, and in so doing challenges the status quo in the hope that empathy will triumph over hate.
Wolfe plays the part of a compassionate young man who sees the injustice that’s taken over the world in the near future.
“I play Andrew, a young man who, upset with the changing face of his town, spends his time reliving memories of his father and pouring his angry memories, and fears, into a telepathic diary,” Wolfe told this paper.
“I’ve been acting for 3 years. My goals as an actor is to keep growing and learning every day, telling meaningful stories, and to ultimately create a body of work that I am proud of. I was really attracted to my character finding compassion in a world of so much hate,” explained Wolfe.
Before being bitten by the acting bug, Wolfe started a clothing brand at the age of 18 that was worn and represented by many musicians, athletes, and influencers. After selling his company to a retail group at the age of 22, he started studying acting with Brian studies acting with Ken Schatz at the New York Theatre Academy.
“Working on set was really special, and everyone was so talented. I learned a lot being on set, and having the opportunity to work with such great people made it so enjoyable and inspiring,” added Wolfe.
Grannick explained that the film is set to Czech composer Antonin Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, which was recorded in Brooklyn by the Dover Quartet. “The story is entirely without dialogue. Music, as the universal language of the film, allows viewers to experience the characters’ feelings — their isolation from home, their fears, their love,” Grannick told this paper.
“This again ties into the theme of empathy. Music doesn’t care what ideologies or backgrounds people have. It generally makes us all feel similar things,” he added.
Prudencio, who lives in Park Slope, said that she was truly honored to direct the film. “When I was brought on to direct this film, it felt like a perfect fit for me, since my mission as an artist is to humanize issues, and I’m also a classical violinist,” explained Prudencio.
Prudencio continued, “This is the first project where I have been able to bring the two together. Art must start a conversation. Our audiences should see the screen as a mirror that forces them to look into themselves and the world around them, and ultimately interrogate their current reality. The best work resonates and stays with you after you leave the theater, and, working with my incredible team, it was our goal to do just that.”