Spotlight: Falsified

MV5BZGRiMmI2NzItYWI4NC00ZTNkLWE5Y2YtZjQ0NDMzZTQxMTYzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTc2NTY2MjA@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,756_AL_ Director: Stefan Fairlamb

Starring: Mitchell Mullen, Ashley Tabatabi

Review Author: Tony & Adam

We have been fortunate enough this week to be given the opportunity to present a new Spotlight to you all. Too often fantastic pieces get lost in the crowd among the big ticket films floating around there, so we love to use our platform to bring things like this to an audience.

This week we’re looking at ‘Falsified’ from Taba Productions; Official Selection at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival & DC Shorts.

So the plot goes, a man whose son was stolen at birth is convinced that he has found his long-lost child. A man who made a vow to his wife that led to a 32-year search for their stolen son. His quest and research have culminated in a coffee shop meeting with a man, “Javier”. Javier is quite defensive and claims to have only agreed to meet in order to get the sickly elderly gentleman to stop harassing him and his family.

It can be very easy to write fiction and pull a story out of thin air, and we see it a lot in cinema. But this is more than a story, it’s illustrating the granular drama and that would easy to forget about when we hear a statistic like ‘300,000 Missing Children over 50 years’. It even begins with, ‘perhaps its political’, as the tortured would be father peruses what his life became.

So we see obsession, denial, shock, and sadness all wrapped up in this 15-minute piece. Giving us the tiniest of glimpses into what would have been a harsh and frightening reality for thousands over this time. We need to take a second to talk about choices here. On a set, a director and DOP are faced with innumerable choices that will completely change the tone of a scene.

We were absolutely blown away by the choices that were made to bring incredible lighting, color, focus and clarity to each scene. The close-ups are never necessary, the sound balance is spot on; allowing a natural silence to come across without making the scene feel isolated.

We need to give all the credit in the world to a transition shot between the bar and the church pew, it was like something straight of the set of breaking bad, serious talent at work there.

It’s another impressive short that is character driven and rather emotional. In 16 minutes we see the anguish and relief of a father who has searched for his son his whole life. This year has certainly been an eye-opener to the emotional punch this shorts can deliver and Falsified is a testament to this.

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