The Secret Art of Human Flight

HP Mendoza and Paul Raci channel our strange self-help obsession in ‘The Secret Art of Human Flight’ – Tribeca First Look

San Francisco microbudget filmmaker HP Mendoza is bringing his Bay Area sensibility to Tribeca.

The filmmaker best known for ‘Colma: The Musical’ about the small town in San Mateo County, California is now turning his camera on a subject that is less musical but could still become strangely infectious: the quest for self-help . “The Secret Art of Human Flight” will premiere at the Tribeca Festival this month and IndieWire shares the first exclusive trailer for the film below.

The cast includes Paul Raci, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2021 for his lead role in ‘Sound of Metal’, and is joined by cast members including Grant Rosenmeyer, Lucy DeVito, Nican Robinson, Reina Hardesty , Maggie Grace and Sendhil Ramamurthy.

Mendoza directs from a screenplay by Jesse Orenshein. Mendoza shot the film with “I Think You Should Leave” cinematographer Markus Mentzer.

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According to the festival synopsis, “After the sudden and tragic loss of his wife, Ben (Grant Rosenmeyer) turns to a mysterious self-help book that will train him to learn to fly. Or at least he hopes so, as he turns his life upside down under the advice of an eccentric spiritual guide (Paul Raci) who could very well be a con man. Rejecting his concerned sister and an ambitious detective convinced he killed his wife, Ben risks everything to fly in an attempt to overcome his grief. Writer-director HP Mendoza deftly walks the line between the absurdity and gravity of loss and grief. This captivating story has the perfect dose of melancholy and poignancy with plenty of laughs. Raci, in particular, is a hilarious delight as a guide from a shady past. An absolutely delightful and whimsical film and a great story of pain and healing.

As IndieWire previously wrote, “Mendoza’s best work blends eccentricities and unexpected twists with an undercurrent of melancholy, and this one seems likely to keep that welcome tradition alive.”

The film will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Festival on June 8 in the US Narrative Competition. XYZ Films is handling sales.