Fallen Fruit
Ramiro Batista as Alex in Fallen Fruit

Sometimes you have to move back home to your childhood bedroom to fully understand what it means to be an adult.

That’s what happens to Alex, the main character in Chris Molina’s feature directorial debut, Fallen Fruit. In an exclusive clip obtained by MovieMaker — which you can watch above — Alex, played by Ramiro Batista, faints while leading a children’s nature hike out in the woods.

“Breaking up with the love of your life and moving back to your childhood bedroom will do that to you,” Alex says in the clip.

Fallen Fruit will premiere at the Miami Film Festival on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Coral Gables Art Cinema. It will screen there again on April 10, and will have another festival screening at Outshine LGBTQ Film Festival in Miami on April 23.

Here’s the full synopsis of Fallen Fruit, according to Molina:

“Alex (Ramiro Batista), is a 20-something-year-old who begrudgingly moves back to his childhood home in Miami from New York after a breakup. Blinded by his optimism of returning to New York after the Summer, Alex underestimates the inevitable hurricane that is adulthood. As his Miami life takes its turns, Alex documents his version of rock bottom with an old camcorder found in his bedroom-turned-storage closet. Looking for an escape, he soon finds comfort in Chris (Austin Cassel), a random hookup, who shows him what a life in Miami might have to offer. Blinded by optimism and lust, the reality of adulthood comes flooding in, forcing him to begin to grow up.”

Additional cast of Fallen Fruit include Austin Cassel, Krystal Millie Valdes, Nicole Quintana, Ozzie Quintana, Adrian Menendez, Joe Tufte, and Joanne Perica. Molina serves as the writer and director. He also produces alongisde Victor Acevedo and Carolina Caruso. Davido Rodriguez serves as the director of photography and associate producer, with Laura San Juan as the script supervisor and associate post-producer.

Chris Molina on the Inspiration for Fallen Fruit

For Molina, a filmmaker who grew up in Miami, capturing the specific experience of breaking up with someone and moving back home has been a goal of his for a long time.

“Learning to love where you’re from and appreciate all the things it’s given you is, as I’ve learned recently, a right of passage into adulthood. We shed the veneer of trying to act too cool and somehow begin to appreciate the things we learned to hate,” he said in his director’s statement.

“In Miami, that would be the humid heat, the traffic, and the iguanas (which can be subbed out for roosters or peacocks). I learned that lesson at 19, when I flunked out of college, broke up with an ex, and moved back to my childhood home. Since then, I’ve yearned to create a film about that feeling of failure.”

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He was able to make the movie after workshopping the concept in The Gotham Film and Media Career Development Program as well as the New Orleans Film Festival South Pitch competition. He funded the film with a $50,000 micro-budget grant from Oolite Arts, where he was named a Cinematic Artist in Residence in 2022.

“During the many years I played around with the idea of Fallen Fruit, I thought of it as a film I could mail back to my younger self so he could have an easier time transitioning into adulthood. But that ideology was flawed. 19-year-old Chris, just like 27-year-old Chris, is hard-headed and would not listen to any sort of advice given to him,” Molina added in his director’s statement.

“I wouldn’t want a film that just spewed lessons at me, I’d want a film that made me feel less alone. That’s what Fallen Fruit became. Despite being based on my own experiences, this is not a film where I prop myself up as the hero. Alex, this alternate version of myself, is as majorly flawed and complicated as I am, and these flaws are the catalyst for change in this film, just as they were in my own life.”

You can watch the exclusive clip of Fallen Fruit above.

Main Image: Ramiro Batista in Fallen Fruit.