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Idrees Degas Named Best Actor for The Rain Has Passed

By Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA

Chicago Native Actor Idrees Degas is lauded for his leading role in a drama about grief and loved lost.
Award-winning Chicago Native Actor Idrees Degas is lauded for his leading role in a drama about grief and regret.

Shakesperean trained actor Idrees Degas stars in The Rain Has Passed as Brad Johnson, a famous painter who grieves the loss of his wife after a tragic accident. He blames himself wishing for only one thing: to have 5 more minutes to say how much he loved her. A stranger (Marina Edwards) shows up who gives Brad a chance to look at his life from a different angle.

The Rain Has Passed, written and directed by Marina Edwards and starring Degas with Gary Robert Bley, Joshua Salazar Fallat, Marina Fallat, Johnny Lambiase and Rachael West, was released in 2022.

“My goal is to tell stories with social impact, to bring hope to people, to show that the values of art, pure love and human respect can change our world in a better way,” said Edwards.

When production ended, the 14-minute short film was submitted to several film festivals throughout the world. The Makizhmithran International Film Festival, a popular film festival, is located in South Tamil Nadu in the southern-most state of India. The 11th largest Indian state by area and the sixth largest by population with more than 70 million people.

The short film was shot in 2 days and entirely on location in Los Angeles, California.

"My role was intense. I drew on my experiences of grief that manifested in many ways, including feelings of sadness, numbness, anger, guilt, and despair. The death of my mother in 2019 and my own fight against COVID in 2021 left lasting effects of shock and disbelief and I was able to bring up those emotions on screen," said Degas. "Over the years, regret for me came in many forms, such as regret over things that were left unsaid or undone, regret over missed opportunities to spend time together, or regret over actions or decisions made in the past. Regardless, we need to learn from our choices and move on and that is what I loved about this character that Mariana created."

Through the sadness of the film, Edwards brought a beautiful contrast to the film by showcasing original art created by Marina Fallat, Valentina Kiryuhkina, Darlene Perez, Aaron Waugh, and herself.

The award-winning short film has garnered three additional awards from the Falcon International Film Festival 2022 for Best Inspirational Film; Shanghai International Short Film Contest 2022 for Best Female Director and V.i.Z Film Fest 2022 for Best Short Film Screenwriter.

Follow Degas on IG @idreesdegas. Look out for his riveting role in The Robey Theatre Company production, "Harambee! Harambee! (All Pull Together) to return to the live stage at the end of the year. Degas is also attached to an untitled comedy feature film to be released the first quarter of 2024.


Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA is a global public relations consultant, playwright, book author, and film producer. She is the founder and owner of Platinum Star Public Relations, The Black Hollywood Entertainment, a non-profit, and other business enterprises.


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