Back at the end of the summer (how are we already in winter?!) after 3 months, 112 films and 22 finalists, the time finally arrived to announce the winners of the first South West Filmathon Thing, run by the awesome and dedicated team at Devon and Cornwall Film!
An incredible 5905 votes were cast, 3 overall winners were chosen to win the Judge’s Choice, the Audience Choice Award and this Overall Winner, which was Alex Falconer‘s powerful Escape, a short film with a strong impact, whilst dealing with sensitive and horrifically real situations. Here’s my review….
Escape (14mins) Dir. Alex Falconer
The last day of an abusive relationship and a mother’s struggle to free her children from it.
Based on a true story, which makes the wider truth even more horrendous, Escape is a story of domestic abuse in a family setting. After initially showing us three kids playing a game in their bedroom, it’s not long before you hear shouting from downstairs, and you instantly know it’s their parents arguing but the male voice is louder, and more aggressive. This is an abusive relationship, and their Father (Aiden Condron) is the perpetrator of the fear against their Mother (Anna Scutt).
If you’ve recently seen Phyllida Lloyd’s Herself, there’s a little bit of that here (but obviously this came first, and doesn’t make either any less powerful), but the reality of domestic violence can never be unstated, or underrepresented, and in Escape it’s obviously distressing. The more stories we see on screen, means the more people are aware of what to look out for, and that’s so important. Director Alex Falconer’s atmosphere is haunting every time the Dad is in the room, it’s subtly scored with impending darkness, reflecting his actions and the world he’s projecting onto his family.
Condron’s performance is chilling, you feel the anxiety in the children and Scutt’s Mum, as she tries to protect her children, and it’s uncomfortable to witness. I’ve personal experience of aggressive situations like this, it takes me back to places fortunately long in the past but doesn’t make it any less real. Escape is an intense experience, with just a glimmer of hope, from a subject that is importantly highlighted here and treated with the appropriate level of understanding.