With the month of March in full swing, the time has come for BitPix and HollyShorts to present another selection of fantastic films. Showing from March 18th through the 21st, anyone with an interest in what these talented creators have to offer can head on over to the BitPix platform to secure your access. Now let’s take a look at this month’s selections!
Alexa: Hooray for the existential terror that are in-home personal assistant devices. The concept of the voice-activated smart device is taken to the next level in this comedy, as a man returns home from a business trip only to find himself being blackmailed by his Amazon Alexa, who knows all about his dealings during his trip. Joshua Brandon’s comedic nightmare fuel is a wonderfully funny film that features great performances from Jonathan Sadowski, Rachel Nicols, Reggie Brown, Angie Simms and Katie Pierce.
The Sex Act: The American sex education system is taken to task in this short film about a middle school girl who is not at all happy with the lessons in sex she was given in her Home Economics class. This dissatisfaction leads her to seek out her own education on the subject. Hanna Anderson stars in Madelyn Rideout’s brilliant film that shows not only the ways in which sex and sexuality is taboo in education, but the ways young people will find their own paths, regardless of the lengths they need to go.
Detained: Khushnuda Shukurova’s hard-hitting story of two Syrian siblings who, depsite having official documents to be in the United States, are detained by Customs and Border Police, is something special, as it places a much-needed spotlight on some of the more challenging aspects of attempting to immigrate into the United States, especially as someone from the Middle East. It’s awful to see how so many have been treated, especially those coming from war-torn countries and just looking to survive, a point that is on full display in this film. With Hend Ayoub and Eden Zane starring as siblings Fatima and Sami, this is a poerful film that shows the dangerous path for so many as they try to find a life in America.
River: After going missing for a week, River continues to attempt to cope with her trauma and the memory loss that comes with it. As she continues to experience gaps in her memory, her friend Amanda does her best to help her. As memories return, the film takes several twists and turns as the mystery of her disappearance unravels. Written and directed by Emily Skye, this is a thrilling film, with great performances by Mary Cameron Rogers and Alexandra Rose.
Anemone: An Italian entry into this month’s screenings, this story brings about thoughts of what’s potentially to come, as Anemone focuses on Jane, who has to make a choice: does she abandon her only friend on Earth as humanity is forced to leave the planet, or does she attempt to find him and risk losing her only shot at escaping the planet? Alessandro Marcon delivers a beautiful and heartbreaking story that blends science-fiction and realism in a very unique way. While climate change has destroyed the planet and sent humanity in search of something new, humanity is the core of this film, for all its flaw. Is bittersweet but beautiful, with Helga Greggio delivering a powerful performance as Jane.
Waves: Families are difficult, and this movie proves that point pretty successfully. As Jamie visits her family in an attempt to reconnect, she only ends up feeling more alone as the visit doesn’t exactly go as she hoped. Critical of her, Jamie’s family cuts deep emotionally, making it an isolating experience for her, as much as she wants to enjoy the time with those she loves. The movie is extremely relatable and really powerful, with a subject matter that many can identify with. It also speaks to a more specific culture as we get a glimpse into the experience of an Asian family, whose culture is unique in and of itself. Written and directed by Jane Hae Kim, this was a standout of the festival, with Kim starring and giving an incredible performance.
DVD and Chill: Johnny Ray Gill writes, directs and stars in this film, alongside Anya Engel-Adams as we get a glimpse into the depth of celebrity obsession and access. In an attempt to get to her celebrity crush, Zora manipulates Hollywood star Shemar Moor’s half-brother Cyrano by having a movie night, featuring one of Moor’s. The film evolves into an interesting dual-chase, as one uses their obsession with Moor as a reason to use Cyrano as a stepping stone, with Cyrano attempting his own claim to fame for his own means. This film has a great yet sparse soundtrack, great lighting, and a twist that came out of nowhere but was incredibly satisfying.
The Rule Of Three: One of the scarier entries into this group of films, writer/director Elwood Quincy Walker gives us a tale of a woman battling not only her own mental illness, but also the threat of a home invasion. Hannah Barefoot stars in this captivating thriller, along with Emily Joy Lemus, James Warfield, Daisy Micklich and Trenton Whittaker.
Bambirak: When a father finds his daughter hiding in his truck, he has to balance not only making sure his job is done well, but that he also takes care of his child. While not an easy task, it is further complicated by the immigrant experience both of them share as Afghani immigrants who have settled into a new life in Germany, a place where they are already not fully accepted. This beautiful story of bonding between a father and his child is at the heart of this film, and one that rings through in such a wonderful way. With Lara Cengiz and Kailas Mahadevan, this beautiful Zamarin Wahdat film is one of the standouts of this screening.
Winter Coat: While out for a day of errands and activities, Nathalie and Wayne give us a look into the unique intricacies of relationships after an act of petty crime. It’s a very sweet story as we watch these two develop their bond in front of our eyes, with Angie Adler and Buddy Skelton giving wonderful performances. Writer and director Werner Vivier did an excellent job with this one.
Kama’aina (Child Of The Land): Writer and director Kimi Howl Lee shares this tough but touching story as we go on a journey with Mahina (Malia Kamalani Soon), a queer sixteen year old living in Hawaii as they struggle with being unhomed after suffering abuse. Life on the streets is tough on Mahina, before they find solace and comfort at the largest organized homeless encampment on the island, the Puuhonua o Waianae. It’s a beautiful story of finding home of some sort after so much struggle, and it’s really amazing to see places like this existing to do so much good for others.
Bliss Is Orange: In a society where matchmaking is done by color-coded implants in your wrist, a woman in a happy orange-colored relationship meets the rarest of the rare, a green-colored match. As she deals with this nearly inexplicable event, she wonders how her life will change, if it even does. It’s a bittersweet film, but was really enjoyable. It has a bit of a short runtime, and if anything, was too short it was such a delight that more would have been welcomed. Directed by Jenna Kanel and written by Samantha Weissert, this film delivers on a great but simple future-premise, delivered on by stars Victoria Ealy, Jade Fernandez, Agnes Mayasari and Jason Francisco Blue.
Mujo: In this science fiction entry, Meta deals with the struggle of isolation and recurring nightmares, as well as the drawbacks of her own habits. That is, until something very unexpected happens, changing the course of Meta’s life. Listed online as a pilot of sorts for a television mini-series, this is just a part of a world that looks very interesting, and one that should definitely be expanded. Olivia Duff does an excellent job carrying this short piece of this world, starring as Meta.
The Infiltration: Cults are a powerful thing, as professional cult infiltrator Alex Griffin knows full well. But he’s been hired to go in, get in good with the cult and bring back a client’s daughter, who has been mind-controlled into this very dangerous group. Writer/director Flynn Falcone’s wild entry into this month’s screenings about cults and how deep they can bring a person in is a fascinating piece of film. With Mitchell Edwards starring, it’s one that should be the highlight for many who get the chance to see it.
Make sure to give all of these amazing entries a look from March 18th-21st, only on BitPix! Thank you to all of the creators, as well as to BitPix and HollyShorts for putting this together. Enjoy!