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The Independent Critic

Rich Sommer, Natalie Britton, Riona O’Donnell, Michael Villar, Peter Hulne
The Bragg Brothers
12 Mins.

 "A Piece of Cake" Takes Top Comedy Prize at Indy Shorts 
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Developed in the Moving Picture Institute's Concept Development Workshop, A Piece of Cake took home the $1,000 top comedy prize at the 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival in Indianapolis. 

Written and directed by The Bragg Brothers, A Piece of Cake follows a work-obsessed father's (Rich Sommer, GLOW; Mad Men) determination to keep a special birthday promise to his adoring yet frequently disappointed daughter (newcomer Riona O'Donnell). 

A Piece of Cake is an adorable and hilarious delight from beginning to end, somehow simultaneously a family-friendly comedy with just a hint of dark undertones as Sommer's ultimately loving dad increasingly goes out of his comfort zone to make sure his daughter has the birthday of her dreams even when a certain dream gets added at the last minute. 

So often in this type of film, that "last minute" add-on gets bigger and bigger and more outlandish. In this case, the Bragg Brothers keep it simpler and that ends up making it even more hilarious. There's heart and humor galore throughout A Piece of Cake and most of it comes courtesy of the spot-on chemistry between Sommer and gifted young actress Riona O'Donnell, whose mere smile would likely have me following a similar path as her father. 

Natalie Britton, as Claire, also shines throughout and helps to give the film its sentimental foundation. 

Miles will be traveled, laws will be broken, and money will be spent. Will dad keep his promise? Will Cora have the birthday she really wants?

Are those silver balls really illegal?

All these questions and more are answered in the 12-minute A Piece of Cake, which follows up its Best Comedy win at New Hope Film Festival with the same prize at the Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts. James Newberry's original music gives the film an extra spark, while Adam Lee's lensing has an awful lot of fun with the film's lighter and darker elements. 

Screening as part of the Indy Shorts Comedy block of shorts during this year's fest, A Piece of Cake is an entertaining and deserving winner of this year's top comedy prize. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic