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The Independent Critic

 2012 Heartland Film Festival: A-Z Reviews, Vol. 10 
fairytale (5 Mins., Narrative Short)
fairytale (5 Mins., Narrative Short)

Starring: Jemma Bolt; Written and Directed by: Andy Collier

Despite its flaws, Andy Collier's fairytale still happens to be one of my favorite short films from the 2012 Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. The film begins very much like a fairy tale, as a perfect mother (Jemma Bolt) prepares her two absolutely perfect children for another day at school. As their journey continues, the facade in the perfection begins to show and fairytale becomes a very different kind of tale.

There's something remarkably disjointed about fairytale, a "love it" or "hate it" short film featuring a terrific performance from Jemma Bolt as the mother in question. While the film constantly feels off-kilter, it's hard not to believe that's completely intentional and that makes the film's five-minute journey all the more unforgettable. With a beautiful production design and a sparse yet wise script, fairytale is one of Heartland's underrated gems this year.

Flawless Life (4 Mins., Narrative Short)

Written and Directed by: Ozgul Gurbuz

This is a nicely done four minute short written and directed by Ozgul Gurbuz about a homeless man who finds something that makes him have a good day. The film's animation is darkly lit yet effective in conveying Gurbuz's message with both intelligence and about as much emotional resonance as one could expect within the confines of a four-minute film. The film is an official selection of the 2012 Heartland Film Festival and is selected well within the "A World of Whimsy" shorts collection.

FOUR WALLS Sarajevo (24 Mins., Narrative Short)

Starring: Senad Alíhodzíc, Sead Bejtovíc, Bahri Uka; Directed by: Nadim Guc

FOUR WALLS Sarajevo is a Bosnian entry into the 2012 Heartland Film Festival, a film that is quite winning in moments and a tad frustrating in others. Mirza and his disabled father try to survive the sniper-filled streets of Sarajevo. Their connection to the outside world is minimal, at least until one day they receive a knock on their door.

This 24-minute official selection of Heartland is refreshing in its honesty, even if director Nadim Guc does, perhaps, try to accomplish a bit too much given the film's relatively short running time. That said, it's an involving film with a talented ensemble cast whose performances linger in your mind for quite some time after watching the film.

Free Kick (12 Mins., Narrative Short)

Directed by: Bernabe' Rico

This 12-minute short directed by Bernabe' Rico centers around a 60-year-old woman who is living a life she never wanted. She has a husband who takes advantage of her, has no children and no sense of direction. Then, suddenly, she's given a chance for escape when the opportunity presents itself to win 300,000 Euros by kicking a soccer ball into an open goal from the halfway point during half-time of a league match.

Free Kick is a simple yet well done short film about hope and second chances.