Film Review: MONSIEUR HERNST, France, Sci-Fi/Drama 

MONSIEUR HERNST a 15 minute French film directed by Cappello Vincent, follows a man and his therapist as he tries to recapture his identity by moving back through moments of his own life. With striking moments of detail, Monsieur Hernst recounts his life’s most important moments- moving around a central traumatic event that started him losing his memory in the first place.

A special note about this film is the incredible performances. Both Monsieur Hernst and his therapist navigate a non-linear storyline, characterized by non-sequential fragments of Hernst’s life. Yet the story is easy to put together, and this is largely because the performers are so detailed and meticulous in their interpretations. Their jobs are not easy, in recounting Mr. Hernsts most jarring, emotional, important or traumatic moments, and the details make them comprehensible. Balanced, well executed and wonderfully put together, MONSIEUR HERNST is a delightful and compelling piece of cinematic storytelling.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 FANTASY/SCI-FI Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

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MONSIEUR HERNST, 15min., France, Sci-Fi/Drama 
Directed by Cappello VincentMr. HERNST has forgotten everything, even his own identity. Facing him, his doctor pushes trough the ages of his life trying to recover the memory of the event that made him forget everything.

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Film Review: SKIN DEEP, UK, Fantasy 

How far would you go to recapture the passion of young love? How far would you go for vanity? How far would you go to put the spark back in your marriage? SKIN DEEP, a twenty minute UK film directed by Tim Willrich, tackles these complex problems through the lense of science-fiction.. When Millie feels unnoticed and unattractive in her stale marriage, she orders a mysterious miracle cream online. But it does more than just refresh her pores- it gives her an entirely new face and body. Initially attracted to the new look, the sparks fly between her and her husband- until Millie becomes obsessed with the many different bodies she can inhabited.  Increasingly uncomfortable with his wife regularly changing into a different person, the marriage becomes strained. Finally, Millie runs out of her product.

Metaphor intended, what makes SKIN DEEP a fascinating piece, is that it goes so much deeper than the surface. It is not simply a movie about a couple revitalizing their marriage with some new tricks- it is about a film about the illusions we engage in for love. It is a film that dissects the lengths we will go to for a sense of romantic security- and how those lengths often backfire is strange and horrible ways.

Gorgeous performances and wonderfully communicated despite the minimal (yet effective) script, SKIN DEEP is a strong, smoldering and fascinating science fiction film.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 FANTASY/SCI-FI Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

SKIN DEEP, 20min., UK, Fantasy 
Directed by Tim Willrich

Obsessed by appearance, a woman applies mysterious cream to help reignite her stagnant marriage. But when her skin peels away, her obsession soon turns his fantasy into a nightmare.

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ECSTASY BOULEVARD played to rave reviews at the July 2017 FANTASY FEEDBACK Film Festival.

“Winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the Festival.”

by Kierston Drier

Some films make you laugh with joy, or awkward discomfort. Some break your heart. A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES will do both. This fifteen minute film hailing from the United Kingdom follows a young impoverished boy being raised by circumstance more than by his otherwise neglectful mother- who spends more of her time entertaining Johns than she does caring for her young son and infant daughter. In the wake of any real stimulation, our young hero heads out into the woods to make his own adventures, and discovers a monster there, who he names Charles.

Stunningly shot with a keen attention to detail, incredibly well edited, and seamlessly constructed, this piece also has an exceptional performance from the young male lead. His choices may seem confusing to the viewer at first glance, but his rationality, given his life circumstances, becomes all too clear soon enough. A tale that literally answers the question of what is worse- the monsters you know, or the monsters you don’t.

For a movie told through the eyes of child, and (potentially) their vivid imagination, A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES has a surprisingly intricate level of emotional complexity. Our characters, from smallest to largest, are deeper than mere black-and-white stereotypes. A piece worthy of detailed discussion, this film can be enjoyed at face value as well. It pays homage to childhood classics such as Where The Wild Things Are and even Peter Pan and the viewer can end the piece knowing the a happy ending has been found. A deeper message within the story might be showcasing what the effect of poverty and neglect can have on children.

Whichever way you choose to interpret this film, it is a powerful piece to watch. It would be a tragedy to miss A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES.


A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES, 15min, UK, Fantasy/Drama
Directed by Richard Paris WilsonThe story of a Boy who lives in a caravan park with his Mother, and a Monster who lives in a nearby woods…

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Short Film Movie Review: DISAPPEARED (5min, Canada, Fantasy/Romance)

DISAPPEARED played to rave reviews at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in January 2016. 

DISAPPEARED, 5min, Canada, Fantasy/Romance
Directed by Jon Silverberg

On the day he plans to propose to his girlfriend, a lowly shipping clerk finds a fountain pen that cause objects to vanish. He embraces the strange phenomenon as a novelty, until it threatens to impede his romantic plans, and very existence.

Movie Review by Amanda Lomonaco:

This film definitely played on one of my biggest fears, and despite its light-hearted nature I couldn’t help but feel a heavy knot in my gut after watching this. I have mentioned repeatedly in my reviews how much I am a fan of horror, but perhaps the very fact that Disappeared isn’t a horror film is what got my nerves jumping. Fortunately I seem to be the only person in the audience with a phobia for disappearances, as everyone else seems to have simply enjoyed it for what it was, even more so for its open-endedness.

While Jon Silverbeg’s introductory performance could have been a little more convincing, this minor flaw is quickly forgotten as the rest of the story draws us in. There’s even a certain catharsis in the very idea of a magical “erasing” pen that can make all our troubles go away. You can’t help but root for Silverberg’s character as you watch him magic all his problems away just so he can make it to dinner and propose to his girlfriend.

The best thing about this short was most certainly the ending… in a good way. It is both surprising, and vague enough to let you create your own satisfying version, and even leave you longing for a sequel. One audience members cleverly pointed out that it would have been interesting to encounter the other people or objects that the magical pen had been used on. In fact nothing says Jon Silverberg’s character wouldn’t encounter exactly that just moments later. The film ends so abruptly it leaves all that room precisely for you to interpret and decide where his life goes to from here.

It’s easy to deduce from here that this film is certainly one for the more creatively minded. Nevertheless, caution should be taken for those with a phobia of disappearing loved ones, like me. I guess that also makes this perfect for lovers of mystery. It’s always nice to appreciate good home-grown cinema, and Disappeared is definitely a good example of the capacity of the Canadian imagination.

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Watch the best of Fantasy/Sci-Fi Performance Readings from the Writing Festival

Deadline TODAY: SAVE $10 SCI-FI/FANTASY Screenplay Festival – FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed at festival

WATCCH the best of Fantasy/Sci-Fi Performance Readings from the Writing Festival:

Feature Screenplay: ORIGINS, by Michael Panek & Guershon Moreno:

JACK’S MERMAID 1st SCENE Reading by Lois Wickstrom:

MEN OF COLOR – Short Script Reading by Mike Kearby:

THE PURE TV Pilot – Watch Winning Reading of Original Sc-Fi TV Series by Jesica Seguin:

SHAPESHIFTERS, Feature Script Reading by Andrew S. Fisk: