During the 12th Ashland Independent Film Festival, audiences were lucky enough to see three of the 85th Academy Award nominated short films, including the film that took home this year’s award, Curfew.
Curfew is a darkly funny short, and I mean darkly funny. We open on the attempted suicide of Richie (played by Writer/Director Shawn Christensen) in his New York City apartment when the phone rings. The following sets the tone for the remainder of the film as we watch the uncomfortable and quizzical expression on his face as his estranged sister Maggie (Kim Allen) begs him to watch her daughter Sophia (Fatima Ptacek). “…Ok” is his only response.
The 19 minutes that follow show a night of Richie awkwardly interacting with his very quick and quirky niece. It’s a night of disconnect, distrust and the inherent comedy that accompanies interactions with family members that you don’t really know, as well as one fun dance number to a song written by Christensen.
Curfew has a laundry list of award wins since its premier in 2012 and after watching the film, it is absolutely clear why. The performances are outstanding, the story is brilliant and it shows an immense amount of heart.
Curfew is available for purchase on iTunes, as is the bowling alley dance song “Sophia So Far” (which I’ve embedded below). Visit curfewfilm.com for more information and a list of future screenings.