6 ft. in 7 min.
Rafael Del Toro,
The old adage "It's not the quantity of life but the quality" gets a new twist in Rafael Del Toro's 6 ft. in 7 min., in which an Indian American teenage boy who has spent his life being pushed to overachieve by his parents discovers that he has been the recipient of an artificial heart about to go on the fritz. Del Toro was born in California and earned a bachelor's degree at UC Berkeley and a master's in film at NYU. Among his previous films is Maris, which Del Toro describes as "a documentary that examines my family's feelings five years after my sister's death [of cancer]." That film and a few successful short scripts inspired him to pursue a career in filmmaking. 6 ft. in 7 min. was made as his thesis film at NYU. "One of the themes I wanted to address," says Del Toro, "was the culture/generation clash that exists between parents and kids in many ethnic groups that came to America. Parents and their children don't see eye to eye on many of the traditional beliefs and customs, creating a gap between the family members." Del Toro conducted most of his own research for the film, learning about "the different artificial hearts, reading articles about the differences and the stories of how long people had successfully lived with them." As to the darkly humorous tone that runs through the film, Del Toro says, "I actually don't see the film as being that dark. In fact I find it to be a celebration of life, in a very twisted way. But in general, I feel that most moments in life aren't black and white, and very often comedy and tragedy coexist, and you can really find comedy in nearly every situation. Just like Doc Holliday says right before he dies in Tombstone, 'Huh, I can see my toes.'"