Here is another fantastic example of a Gold Medal Student Academy Award winner that was also nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2010 Academy Awards. Directed by Gregg Helvey, this 19-minute film gives a face and voice to the thousands of people trapped in illegal slavery today. Like the previous two student films I’ve analyzed, The Red Jacket (2002) and A Day’s Work (2008), the director uses a smaller story to represent a much larger social issue. This is a perfect use of the medium of short film. The length, the simplicity, and the poignancy all serve to create a much greater impact than I feel it would have if the storyline was complicated for a feature film format.
I was again pleased to note this film has its own official website where you can watch it, find press and news, and read about the production. Duane L. Martin at RogueCinema has also written a brief review of the film. Jett Loe at The Film Talk called the visuals of the film “corrosive, seething, painful.” I would have to agree, although my favorite shot is the very last, where the camera follows Kavi’s feet as he takes his first steps to freedom over the wet mud bricks, crushing his labor under his bare, dirty feet. Overall, a moving short film.