Candid Cinema

Dances With Films Selection: ‘Desert Sky’ Web Series

By: Amanda Guarragi

Desert Sky takes place in the future when a space princess is caught in between a deadly war of magic and technology. She joins forces with her father’s enemies and learns ancient magic to protect her gifted son. This is a space-age saga of retribution, redemption and revolution. When Sky’s father brought her to Alraza to start a new colony, she had no idea their presence would come at such a cost. She ends up falling in love with an Alrazan Elder’s son and recruiting him to her father’s army. Sky (Lexa Gluck) believes their union will join the two worlds. It isn’t until her son Ziah (Riley Looc) performs some mystic abilities, that the family finds they are no longer safe inside her father’s walls, which are lined with dark secrets.

This web series highlights mystical powers, relationships, and family duty while handling a story on a larger scale. Sky has this resilient, rough nature about her that takes her far in the galaxy. Without her toughness, it would be hard to navigate the desert with her son. In this first episode, Sky gives into temptation and steals an enchanted flower from Ouma’s magic garden. And leads her estranged husband, Rayf (Ezekiel Ajeigbe) – a soldier in her father’s army- to their hiding spot on mystic rock. We see the family dynamic switch and emotions run wild when Rayf, Sky, and Ouma (Cammie Middleton) are all together in the same area.

The concept of the show has the potential to be good as it plays out. However, this first episode was a bit rocky, especially because of the special effects. The actors do the best they can with the script that they have and they do tell a good story. The location works for a futuristic space planet as well. Writer-director David Harstone wanted to make something original and drew inspiration from other great filmmakers. After dealing with his hardships during the pandemic, Harstone made this film seeking comfort from the story he created. He poured everything into this and you could tell there was different energy under the surface of it all. 

Desert Sky is an interesting, original story that highlights a woman’s struggle with her estranged husband and mystical son. With the entire galaxy going after them, Sky must protect her son and leave Ouma. Some emotional beats work at the end of the first episode that will leave you intrigued to see where it goes. Like all fun sci-fi adventures, Harstone gives us likable characters, a young prodigy, and a character who just won’t quit. It has an interesting story and a great performance by Middleton. The good thing is that Harstone gives you a bit to work with in regards to special effects and he lets your imagination fill in the rest to make you feel more connected to the story. 

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