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Father's Day

Written by: David Martyn Conley  |   Directed by: David Martyn Conley |  Genre: Drama  |   Length: 15 minutes

 A teacher has already been shot and 3 students are held captive. Detective Whitlock ( David Martyn Conley) is one of the first to arrive. He’s not a hostage negotiator but someone has to step in for these kids. Before it’s too late. The man holding the hostages is angry. He wants nothing more than to end the lives of these teenagers. But surprisingly, he has also offered to let the teacher walk out. The teacher declined and was shot for it, and now Detective Whitlock has been offered the same. Likewise, he can’t leave. Not with things the way they are.
 As the story progresses and the detective tries to talk down the gunman, a grim picture is slowly being painted. The gunman, Ash Poole ( Gary Modlish) has been on a downward spiral. Among his misfortunes, a tragic divorce and death of his son. Could this be the reason he’s doing what he’s doing? And if not then why? Before this short film has finished we get out answers. At first Ash’s reasons seem to be only stress and grief related, but those are not the total facts. These teenagers have a connection to him that is as scary as it can be. Why does he want to end the lives of 3 kids? Watch Father’s Day to find out.   There is some really good acting in this title and the dialog feels real and gritty. The location acts as an actor and it’s hammered into our heads that schools should be, and feel safe. But are they? Conley as the detective really gave me a glimpse of what it must be like in an impossible situation. Even more at the end, when all is revealed he gives off the right amount of sympathy and confidence that one way or the other, things will balance themselves out. Modlish, as Ash Poole takes on a tough role and nails it. It’s not just about the anger, but about his justification. His frustration. This all plays out very nicely with the 3 hostages looking scared as they should be. For a micro budget title, the acting is pretty outstanding. So is the story. It’s a sad one, but one that deserves addressing. In today’s world, stress can be one hell of a trigger. Especially when dealing with family or in this case, family grief. Just what is justice in today’s world? A slap on the wrist for those deserving of a much harsher penalty? A huge penalty for someone who doesn’t deserve one? Just to prove a point? This is what Father’s Day attempts to reconcile, and does a pretty good job.

 A good short film. A well written and well acted short film. Based on those points you should definitely check out Father’s Day. I didn’t really appreciate the way it was shown to me though. Felt like a bad acid trip and not to be taken seriously, and that directly contradicts the story. I don’t know why David Conley and his team decided to mess around with the colors and stuff, because in the trailer the colors look fine. But they did and it makes a title that otherwise feels very well done, look amateur. That’s my biggest complaint but I still recommend this short film. Thank you for reading.

FATHER’S DAY from David Conley on Vimeo.

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