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The Independent Critic

Tamsin Heatley
Susannah Hunt
7 Mins.

 "Colin the Pantomime Horse" a Touching, Thoughtful Family Short  

For whatever reason, I seldom receive what I would consider to be family friendly short films at The Independent Critic. So, I automatically smiled with hopefulness when I opened up the e-mail containing writer/director Susannah Hunt's directorial debut, the just shy of 7-minutes Colin the Pantomime Horse, a rather delightful and warm short that is easily accessible to the entire family that came out of Hunt's appearance at the 2016 Cannes Short Film Corner where she received funding to complete this film. 

In the film, Colin is a pantomime horse who struggles to find acceptance in a world that seems determined to shun him for his differences. Filmed on location in Dublin, Colin the Pantomime Horse is slightly absurd yet in the best of ways and with an endearing sweetness, largely courtesy of Tamsin Heatley's warm and compassionate narration, and possesses a wonderful innocence that is far too absent from contemporary shorts. 

While not technically a student film, many of those involved with Colin the Pantomime Horse were, in fact, full-time students at nearby Trinity College- Dublin. One could, I suppose, argue about certain aspects of the film's production but it's so unabashedly earnest and hopeful that to nitpick seems an injustice as I thoroughly enjoyed the film. 

In addition to Heatley, Hunt utilized 10 different performers in the role of Colin, a character best left unexplained as the momentary absurdity of it all quickly gives way to the film's overall joy and utter belief that there may very well be a home for all of us. 

Currently on the film festival circuit, Colin the Pantomime Horse deserves a place on the indie fest circuit and those programmers looking for solid family friendly material would certainly do well to check out this film.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic