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The Big Short-
A Series About Why Short Films Matter

A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

October 26, 2017



Mum - short movie Once upon a time going to the movies meant seeing a short film before the main feature. That was last century, we are in 2017 and the short film has emerged as an exciting cinematic medium that even has its own Oscar category. It’s a way for filmmakers to prove they’re worth financing a bigger budget. Sometimes all it takes is eight minutes to tell a story. Shorts can serve as a trial balloon for controversial subjects. Make no mistake, these are not you tube videos slapped up on the internet nor are they a web series. They are whole and complete movies that are less than 20 minutes. One thing all short films have in common is a difficulty in finding an audience. They tend to go around the Film Festival circuit. Often, they are put on the internet for free making it difficult to recoup production costs. I could be wrong but I don’t believe there’s a “short film channel” on cable. Maybe there should be.

Mum, short movie
Mum by writer/director Anne-Marie O’Connor manages to pack the themes of family, death, acceptance and rebirth into about 14 minutes. O’Connor cast three generations of trans actors into her film that is not short on big emotions. Kate, played by transgendered actress, Kate O’Donnell (Boy Meets Girl) has come home to visit her mother for girl’s day out. She finds that her transition from the son she had been to the daughter she now is has alienated her from the daily minutiae that defines a person’s role within the family. Kate realizes that it isn’t just a lack of acceptance on the part of her family but on her being focused on her own needs to the exclusivity of others. The casting in the film rivals a theatrical release including Lee Boardman Jack the Giant Slayer and Kenneth Colley, known for his work in Star Wars. The remaining transgendered actors are Ash Palmisciano and Joseph Pearson (Joe is ten and Mum was his first screen role). The roles that different family members play in each other’s lives mirrors the shapeshifting that happens as people transition from child to adolescent to adult to caregiver to patient irrespective of gender.

Tomorrow look for an interview with director Ian Hunt Duffy of the prize winning short film, Gridlock.