North Fork TV Festival Review: ‘Otis’

Alexander Etseyatse directs and stars in Otis, a show portraying the real-life struggles of someone with mental illness.

After getting released from a psychiatric ward, Otis tries to set straight the life he left behind before getting admitted. The pilot focuses on his relationship with his daughter, ex-girlfriend, and his new friend. 

Since the main objective of the main character is to see his daughter, one can expect there are many emotional scenes. After he fails in doing so, he doesn’t seem to know what he should do and leaves the audience with that. 

A glimpse of Episode 2 shows scenes in the ward, which hopefully means more backstory and setup. The performances were on point, which added to the already realistic production, funded by the Spike Lee Fund through the NYU Graduate Program. 

Each of the emotional, and harder to watch, scenes all felt very raw, making it clear that it’s coming from a very real place. The soundtrack, mostly hip-hop, helps with the flow of the episode as well. 

In the end, the pilot does its job of setting up the main character, his mental state, and the main objective. It then leaves us wondering what the rest of Otis’ journey will be, which will be seen in later episodes. 

The trailer is available on Vimeo.

We screened the show at the 2019 North Fork TV Festival.

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