Drama, 12 min
Finding yourself and your place in life isn’t always easy
JAS is a short film from Alice Trueman which tells the story of a British-Iranian teen living in a dilapidated seaside town. Melanie Wilder (Jas) stars alongside Anna Martine Freeman (Abby), Joseph Adelakun (Leo), Conor Boru (Dayo), Kyran Mitchell Nanton (Vinnie) and Peter Sundby (the veteran). This short is refreshing in that it looks at the central character across several different strands of her life, and the various ways these impact on her life. It is deep and insightful and can spawn so many conversations that will connect many different audiences around heritage, class, sexual orientation and education.
I really liked the opening of the film, shot in the dark, which I felt reflected where Jas was as a person. It isn’t easy to film in low light, but this film did it well and the result gives a great persepective. We see Jas struggle to work out where she belongs and the struggles she experiences around school, her future and her feelings. This is the ultimate teen anguish that I’m sure will resonate with many on one or more levels.
I loved the seaside town as a backdrop and the locations all worked really well. As well as the scripted lines, the cinematography added and coloured the story further. I also liked that even with these various insights into Jas’ life; you still got the impression that she was so deep that you hadn’t scratched the surface.
The end scenes were in such contrast to the beginning of the film, reflecting not the journey that Jas had been on, but that she had found some light and strength with which to start out on. It was extremely uplifting and a great close to this story.
If you like characters with depth and where the storyline is more than the sexual orientation then another film from BFI Flare to put on your watch list is Night Comes On.