Move over Wonder Woman. There is a new film in town that is breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and spreading the message of love and tolerance to audiences around the planet. And it isn’t even five minutes long. There isn’t a single word spoken. But In A Heartbeat is the movie on everyone’s lips for the past month, and not just because of its pro-LGBT message.
In the few weeks since its release, the short film has received 28 million views from people in 160 countries. Quite an accomplishment for a school project. To put that into perspective, In A Heartbeat has been seen by more people than most of the Hollywood blockbusters of 2017. A four-minute film is now better known than half the lineup of moving pictures of the year. Without a single word of dialogue, how did In A Heartbeat win the hearts of so many people?
Two student filmmakers, Esteban Bravo and Beth David, aged 24 and 22, created In A Heartbeat for their senior thesis at The Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. The two originally created a Kickstarter campaign to raised funds for the project, mostly to hire composer Arturo Cardelús and exceeded their original goal of $3000 by raising over $14,000. In A Heartbeat had been selected for the multiple festivals and had placed the pair as semi-finalists for a student Academy Award. Bravo is out gay, and David considers herself a member of the gay community.
In A Heartbeat is a computer animated short film about a shy, closeted red-headed middle school youth named Sherwin who has a crush on the most popular boy in school: Jonathon. Scared of his feelings being outed, Sherwin hides when he sees Jonathon only to have his heart literally jump out his chest to do the job of outing him.
Fans have responded in droves, relating to the young gay love story in ways the creators never thought. Perhaps it is the message of young love and having your first crush. Or maybe it’s the phenomenal score that perfectly follows the animation and sends our senses racing along with it. Whatever the reason, In A Heartbeat is making historical waves for a short film and will melt your heart or make it beat out of its chest. In an era when LGBT people around the world are being suppressed, artistic works like In A Heartbeat are shining through to remind us all of the beauty of love, no matter where it comes from.
Watch In A Heartbeat: