Disarming “Falling Overnight” adds a twist to the “Before Sunrise” 24-hour newbie romance conceit; this time, the male protag faces brain surgery in the morning. It’s a potential recipe for maudlin excess, yet debuting director/editor/lenser/co-scenarist Conrad Jackson pulls off a solid charmer that ingratiates from start to finish. Lacking name thesps or an obvious commercial hook, however, it will require careful handling to score exposure beyond the fest circuit.

Shy, rail-thin Elliot (Parker Croft) is not exactly enjoying his remaining hours of freedom before facing the knife a second time for a dangerous brain-tumor operation. Suffering from vomiting, nausea and insomnia, he’s deliberately living apart from family members who have been too high-drama around his illness. Wandering into a cafe, he meets counter worker and off-duty artist Chloe (Emilia Zoryan), then attends her gallery show on a whim. She whisks him off on a long night that encompasses bike -riding, toe-dipping in a public fountain and birthday festivities for one of her borderline-annoying but amusing hipster housemates. Co-scenarist Croft’s terrific performance drives this modest but resourcefully mounted enterprise.

Falling Overnight

  • Production: A Display Purposes Only production in association with Dried Lemon Prods. Produced by Jed Rhein, Elizabeth Jackson. Executive producers, Conrad Jackson, Aaron Golden, Parker Croft, Christian Yeager, Sangeeta Parekh, Lou Fusaro. Co-producer, George Valos. Directed, edited by Conrad Jackson. Screenplay, Aaron Golden, Parker Croft, Jackson.
  • Crew: Camera (color, HD), Jackson; music supervisor, Marcela May Wojtczak; production designer, Sarah Taub. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, March 23, 2011. (In Cinequest, Nashville film festivals.) Running time: 88 MIN.
  • With: With: Parker Croft, Emilia Zoryan, Barak Hardley, Millie Zinner, Jake Olson, Elizabeth Jackson, Nathalie Antonia.
  • Music By: