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"Flea" is a haunting exploration of trauma and the supernatural, crafted by filmmaker Andrew Barahona. In this chilling tale, a young woman named Anna, portrayed by Emily Piesens, grapples with the aftermath of her abusive boyfriend's suicide. Little does she know, his malevolent spirit lives on within an eerie mask, inadvertently becoming a vessel for his vengeful presence.

Barahona, who directed, wrote, and produced the film, deftly navigates the narrative terrain, weaving together elements of horror and psychological thriller. Despite the constraints of a modest budget of around $600, the film captivates with its atmospheric tension and visceral performances.

Starring alongside Piesens is Red Valdez, who delivers a compelling portrayal that adds depth to the film's dark atmosphere. Their on-screen chemistry adds layers to the story's intensity, drawing viewers deeper into Anna's harrowing journey.

"Flea" was born out of creative ingenuity and resourcefulness. Conceived for the Jakob Owens 2023 Short Horror Film Competition, the production faced challenges, including a tight timeframe and logistical hurdles during Dopamine's transition to Phoenix, Arizona. With only a few weeks to bring the vision to life, Barahona alongside Nicholas Venecia and Red Valdez, worked tirelessly to overcome every obstacle that came their way.

The film's setting, primarily Andrew and Nick's sparsely furnished apartment, plays a pivotal role in enhancing the narrative's eerie ambiance. Utilizing the space's limitations to their advantage, the filmmakers ingeniously crafted a story that thrives on claustrophobic tension and psychological intrigue.

In the eleventh hour of production, J.M. Torres emerged as a guardian angel for the project. Arriving in Phoenix just in time, Torres lent his expertise to the editing process, working tirelessly to shape the raw footage into a cohesive and compelling narrative. With unwavering dedication, he transformed the film into a masterpiece, infusing it with tension, emotion, and a sense of cinematic finesse.

"Flea" is a testament to the power of creativity and collaboration, proving that with determination and resourcefulness, even the most ambitious cinematic visions can come to life.

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