BELMONT, Mass. — Filmmaker Sharisse Zeroonian wants to explore the space between identities: Are you Armenian? Geeky? Disabled? Different?
“The Mouse in the Bread,” the short film that Zeroonian wrote, directed and stars in, has been shown several times in the past year in local festivals and movie theaters.
From the opening scene, which shows the Armenian and American flags swaying in the wind, we know we are seeing an Armenian family. Yet, their ethnicity is not a focal part; it is just one aspect of who they are. The narrative follows Lili, played by Zeroonian, as she fits into her family life, living with her parents Miriam and John (played by Louise Mara and Alexander Hauck), as well as her extended family. Lili, a high school senior, is very close to her cousin, Kevork, played by Miguel Velazquez, as well as her grandparents. Everything becomes unhinged, however, when Kevork commits a crime. It seems all of a sudden, the gossamer-thin balance is thrown off for everyone in the family with the arrest.
“The Mouse in the Bread” was adapted from a short story Zeroonian had written.
“The characters were people I see in my life, people who struggle with relationships and lost connections,” Zeroonian explained.
Lili is a complicated character, one that seems to have a hard time finding herself as well as her place.