Change of Course is a thought-provoking short film about the main worldwide issue nowadays:

the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, Change of Course is concerned to engage the audience. Therefore, the speech full of arguments is not delivered right on the first scene. Before it, comes a prologue that deals with the fairy tale clichés, settling the time, place, and theme of the movie with a playful tone. 

Cast: Andreas Ortner, Martina Martinz


Change of Course a surreal CineStageArt short film project.

MÖLLTAL / AUSTRIA. Corona keeps the world in suspense. The small community of Stall (formerly Wildegg) in Carinthia / Austria is the lucky exception here. The moderator of the mind and the moderator of the heart meet in a stable in this place and reflect the situation in a game of surreal self-reflection and intense thoughts about a seemingly hopeless situation. A solution is offered.

In essence, the exposure of the point of view of the artist is the core of the plot and therefore it is presented in a way that it inevitably causes a strong impact on the audience. The two presenters, in the role of the moderator of the mind and the moderator of the heart, speak directly to the camera, addressing directly the spectator, and in some parts in an aggressive manner. Besides, the filming takes place in a dirty and rusted stable, that can be taken as a dungeon of the Middle Ages, specially because in the beginning the man is wearing a mask of a plague doctor – which, by the way, is in the movie Inferno (2016), that deals with a pandemic threat. And the woman wears a blindfold, so all these elements together build a rather scary mise-en-scène.

Written & Produced by: Andreas Ortner, Helmut-Michael Kemmer

In the screenplay, we miss the position of the director about the vaccines against the Covid-19, as they are showing effective results, causing the end of the social distancing in some locations. And it is also important to state that the movie has the perspective of a small community in Austria, which has the conditions to be a better controlled environment, as there are few or no strangers coming in and out from another cities. In such a case, the trust in the awareness of each other, expanded to a circle of family or friends, is feasible. However, when taking into account a city with millions of inhabitants it is impossible to be sure that everyone you make contact is taking the necessary care to avoid the virus. 

In Anyway, Change of Course is a creative and engaging short film that reflects with strength the out-of-the-box ideas of its authors. And it deserves praises for proposing ideas without inciting violence or intolerance. 

And then comes the serious part. The moderator of the mind very soon states that they do not deny or belittle the coronavirus. However, they are worried about the effects of the social distancing in the long term, as this preventive method leads to loneliness and the absence of social relationship. So, they call for thoughts and creative alternatives to avoid the isolation that may cause psychological problems. It is interesting that the movie suggests not a revolutionary war. Instead of guns, the tools are the art forms as means of provoking new thoughts. At the same time, Change of Course demands for awareness about people with power that may use fear to impose dark measures. 


Concerning the style of directing, the editing fluidity between scenes must be praised. In some cases, the scenes are linked by matching objects that are virtually transferred through the lenses or movements of the characters on screen, techniques widely used in social media videos. In other cases, the images are intertwined, like the man throwing a coin in slow motion or other quick inceptions that help to keep a fast rhythm.

Cinematography: Harald Walzer, Voice Over: Beau James Leonard, Music: Various Artists / HMK Production

Change of Course

2020, Austria, 9 min

Directed by:  Andreas Ortner

Eduardo Kaneco

Film Critic, the founder of Leitura Filmica