From the director of Kung Fu Ghost comes her very first film, a short film about a young man and his chance to live a “dream”.

Justin has always wanted to live a dream and that is to be skilled in martial arts. However, the reality of things is that his life is pretty much humdrum. He has two fathers who always try to coddle him after he is beaten up by a local bully known as The Mole. However, one night as Justin dreams, he imagines himself meeting a beautiful siren who offers him an ancient scroll. When Justin awakens with the scroll, he learns the scroll is exactly what he needs. Training himself hard, he is ready to face the bully once again in hopes to stop him.

For indie filmmaker Jennifer Linch, her first film brings to mind Stephen Chow comedies mixed in with fantasy martial arts in the vein of classic 90s hits like The Bride with White Hair, Butterfly and Sword, and others with its striking visual of the siren who becomes a mentor of sorts to our protagonist Justin, played by actor and martial artist Dustin Stern-Garcia.

For those wondering where the Stephen Chow riff comes in, enter two of Justin’s friends who help Justin walk in slow motion in one pivotal scene. Chow’s Fist of Fury 1991 comes to mind when Chow’s appearance as the Saint of Gamblers from All for the Winner arrives out of a limo in slow motion. There’s even a scene where a cute scene leads to one of the friends blowing bubbles in something one would expect in a Chow movie. There’s also John Paul Ouvrier’s overacting one half of Justin’s dad that brings a style of comedy glory for a short film.

When we do get to see the rematch between Justin and the Mole, played by Apollo Askew, it’s definitely a pretty good fight that has minimal effects and relies more on grounded effort. As for the Siren who catches Justin’s eyes, writer-director Linch herself plays a sense of wuxia-pian inspired beauty in the vein of a Maggie Cheung or Joey Wong. It is her lifelong passion of the genre that influenced her to play the role perfectly to a tee.

The Dream is a pretty fun homage to wuxia pian and Stephen Chow-style comedy in terms of a first effort from an up-and-coming filmmaker. Jennifer Linch certainly has a passion for certain genres and pays homage to them in this fun film debut.

WFG RATING: B+

A Sunshine Pictures production. Director: Jennifer Linch. Producers: Jean Paul Ouvrier and Jennifer Linch. Writer: Jennifer Linch. Cinematography: Jennifer Linch. Editing: Jennifer Linch.

Cast: Dustin Stern-Garcia, Jennifer Linch, Apollo Askew, John Paul Ouvrier, Marty Fallor.