Madre 7/10 The best part of “Madre” is how the director can take such a small, contained story in essentially one location and make it extremely gripping and suspenseful using only dialogue to achieve this goal. Very well acted and tense but my biggest complaint comes at the end. Not only do we not get any kind of closure or end result, but the final shot is very odd and the ending music comes off as disruptive. Solid up until the unsatisfying ending. #RoamAlone

Fauve 9/10 There is a good argument to have that this is the best of all the nominated live action shorts. The story is simple yet realistic and emotional. The imagery is striking, especially the last shot. The child actors do a great job and this short never loses focus or drags on too long. The two boys in the short have chemistry that makes it feel as if they were actual best friends of their respective ages and the script stays strong from start to finish. #TheFoxAndTheGround

Marguerite 5/10 Where this short film succeeds is that the acting feels very genuine and intimate as we see two women on opposite sides of life. One young and healthy and the other old and decaying. These polar opposites coming together is a nice touch. However, the overall story is rather dull and doesn’t have much to say. Perhaps a full length movie with these characters would make things more fleshed out but for a 19-minute short film, we are left wanting more and there isn’t enough time to have the characters have any obstacles to overcome or anything interesting to do. #LifeOrSomethingDykeIt

Detainment 8.5/10 A very close runner up for being the best of these short films, “Detainment” is unique amongst these nominees as being the only one based on a true story, which makes it very fascinating. The true crime story is equal parts disturbing and tragic and like “Fauve”, the child actors really stand out here. The editing is well done as we jump back between the present interrogation of the boys and flashbacks to the day of their heinous crime. As haunting as the story is, “Detainment” is an extremely well-acted and captivating short film that I recommend. #LiverDeadpool

Skin 6.5/10 Not the most original of stories (the blackface portion gave me PTSD to the movie “Finian’s Rainbow”) but this short film has some really solid acting and we get some very emotional elements via what racism can do to people as well as mixed emotions when a bright child gets caught up in it. I liked that this film didn’t shy away from the darker, more violent elements and instead put them front and center. Overall nothing we haven’t seen before but still entertaining and well directed. #BlackfaceTheRalphNorthamStory

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