“Boxed In,” a short film about a reclusive self-storage manager who must overcome his phobias to save a friend, will receive a screening at the Roxie Theater on July 13 as part of the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival. The film is directed by Naga Kataru, a former Google engineer who graduated from the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking (SFSDF).
The inspiration behind “Boxed In” stems from Kataru’s fascination with managers who run self-storage facilities as well as the collection of property that accumulates in units. Originally conceived as a documentary, the project was transformed into a short film about a man named Alvarez who’s forced to face his fears to save his assistant, his only friend and connection to the rest of the world. Actor Christopher Peak plays Alvarez.
Kataru took a sabbatical from his engineering position at Google to enroll in the five-week film program at SFSDF. After completing a short film, he quit his job at Google and enrolled in the one-year digital film-making program at SFSDF. He has since completed five short films in addition to “Boxed In.”
The film premiered in December 2012 at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and has since played at several film festivals around the United States. It recently won The FreeStyle Life Audience award for the 2013 Best Short film.
“Boxed In” received story-editing, graphic-design and color-correction support from production company Rough House Editorial. Kataru was familiar with Rough House through its work with Google on corporate film projects.
"We lost some scenes, which was hard for me. We also changed the order of some scenes and added some small effects to give some scenes more impact,” Kataru said. “In the end, the work we did in the edit bay made the story line much clearer and gave the film more impact.”