Short films are often used to convey messages about social changes.  Agents of Change: Project Polymer, written by Shaan Dasani based on characters created by Dasani and Mitch del Monico falls in this category.  The message is about single-use plastics, such as drinking straws that create large amounts of waste that does not disintegrate over time.  The waste must go somewhere and or be dealt with and that is not always cheap. 

There is a balance necessary to tell a full story that includes enough facts to promote change and not so many facts the audience zones out.  I found the piece well-paced, entertaining, and somewhat informative.  I know using plastic straws is bad, and natural fabrics are better choices, I did not pick up on other choices that should be looked at for the health of the planet.

The style of the film is a mixture of a bit of film noir, nods to James Bond, and a touch of Get Smart.  Agents Guy Longani (Shaan Dasani) and Evelyn Quinn (Rain Valdez) are working to take down plans for waste of single-use plastics being shipped to other countries.  Guy must earn Evelyn’s trust and Evelyn must learn to work with others. 

When researching the cast, I found a second message being conveyed that I did not pick up on while watching.  This was something Dasani wanted to achieve as explained in an interview with Chris Angel Murphy for their podcast Allyship is a Verb.  Dasani said, “…so I wanted to center like queer and trans people of color at the forefront of that movement that are making a difference. So, some people may look at and they say, “Oh, it’s not a queer film.” But I’m like, “No, it is a queer film. It, it’s gonna impact our communities first.” So, I do see it as a queer film, and also all of us are out queer and trans actors. If anyone chooses to Google us, then they’ll know.” (Chris Angel & Dasani 2023/04/11 00:48:51) And “I think one of the things that I do think about too is, you know, there’s, there’s a conversation of representation in the entertainment industry and what I want is for queer and trans folks and Black folks and South Asian folks and you know, folks of all identities to get a chance to come into writer’s rooms and positions, to direct projects that aren’t just about those identities.” (Chris Angel & Dasani 2023/04/11 00:49:09).  Using a style of “spy film” that has traditionally been about strong masculine men and damsels in distress and tweaking it for the feminine characters to be more independent and have their own strengths is a nice change as well.   

With a few moments, like the fight scene where the reaction to being hit and the hit itself was obviously choreographed and the timing a smidge off, there is room for growth for the next adventure of The Agents of Change.  

Bentonville Film Festival short entry


Director: Jett Garrison

Written By: Shaan Dasani

Cast: Shaan Dasani, Rain Valdez, Michael D. Cohen, Gretchen Wylder, Dalila Ali Rajah

MPAA Rating: Not yet rated.

Genres: Short, Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Selig Rating: 2.8 stars

Runtime: 15m 17s

Trailer: Agents of Change: Project Polymer trailer


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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