The feature-length writing/directing debut of Scott Ballard, Welcoming Departure was shot entirely in Bellingham and Portland. Ballard is better known as a cinematographer, with credits like 2010’s excellent How the Fire Fell, and his premise for this Kickstarter-funded project is an offbeat one: Hank is a quiet but not unhappy loner who works as the custodian at the local library, a gig he likes to cap off with a little flirtation with the cute girl who works at the diner. His routine is unsettled when he receives a mysterious, bizarre inheritance in the form of an elderly woman who doesn’t speak English. Leisurely paced with a well-matched jazz soundtrack, this character study is hampered by bad dialogue and a complete lack of sex appeal; Ballard has interesting ideas and an ease with the camera, but he'd appear to be in need of a Kickstarter for better actors.
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