Short Film Saturdays: “Ludgate Hill”

Rating: ★★★★

Ludgate Hill is a 9 minute short film from Auteurs’ Forum and Ernest Productions. It was written, directed and edited by Tom Francis Kerby, who has frankly done a fantastic job of all three.

The film follows Charlie (Max Cross), an introverted young boy who is struggling to understand why his sister Shae (Francesca Zagajewska) has unexpectedly left the family home. We know she got on a flight but her fate remains unknown to Charlie, and to us.

Image courtesy of Auteur’s Forum.

It’s filmed in the most gorgeous place, and there’s a real sense of nostalgia in Ludgate Hill as we get to know Charlie a little better. I loved the location, it worked very well with the theme of the short and had a period drama feel to it, with emotions running high throughout the narrative.

Despite the fact Shae does all the talking, so much of the emotion comes from Charlie, with Max Cross having the fantastic ability to show such raw emotion without saying a single word. He’s sad, confused, perhaps a little angry, and all that comes through without any dialogue.

In fact, the lack of diegetic sound is one of my favourite things about the film.

Image courtesy of Auteur’s Forum.

Later on, we meet a much older Charlie (Tim Edhouse), who finds himself at the same spot where he and sister Shae sat together all those years ago.

This film is incredibly melancholic in nature and the emotion shown by both Cross and Edhouse really radiates from the screen, you can feel their pain, and how much they miss someone dear to them.

Whilst simple in its execution, Ludgate Hill is a prime example of how a story can be told in such a short space of time. Visually it really is beautiful to look at, a testament to Oliver Davis’ cinematography, and a gorgeous classical score by Adam Orlowski brings the short together.

I really enjoyed this film due to its moving storyline, perhaps one that people can relate to if they’ve been estranged from a family member, or have never received an answer to an important life question.

There’s no need for huge special effects in a film like this because the raw, believable human emotion speaks volumes.

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