By Cole Cronk | Special to the NB Indy
The Shorts From Beyond collection consists of six different shorts based in futuristic worlds. Some of them focus on science-fiction themes, others are more character driven despite being set in a near future.
“BEAM” is an intense short about a young woman who bears a heavy burden of supporting her sick mother and younger sister. The film switches back and forth between two different timelines that come together towards the end of the short.
The most exciting part of “BEAM” is the chase sequences as the woman attempts to escape from law enforcement with a teleportation device. Although the fight choreography is loose, writer and director Daisy Stenham was able to balance the adrenaline rush with interesting character development as the main character is forced to make sacrifices for her family.
One of the odder shorts in the collection, “Algorithm,” initially lost my attention but quickly roped me back in. It does a clever job of capturing the sci-fi world with small details such as the architecture of a futuristic building. It also does a great job of using color and wardrobe to push the clone theme forward.
Even in technologically advanced worlds, humans still go through hard times.“Sk in” is the story of Nathan, played by Tom Sturridge, a man whose lover recently passed away. Almost the entire film is a close up of Nathan’s face as he drinks and smokes to cope with his loss. Sturridge’s performance is heart-breaking and powerful from the opening to the very end of the credits.
These shorts feel the most fitting for Newport Beach Film Festival’s first virtual debut. It won’t be long before these futuristic worlds are right outside our window.
The Shorts From Beyond Collection is part of the 2020 Newport Beach Film Festival, which has gone virtual this year and runs through October 11. For information on viewing this collection of shorts and other films in the festival, visit www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com.