Directed by: Kira Bursky and Robert Gowan
Starring: Lindsey Whitus
Short Film Review by: Niall Maggs
Fake Emma is a 5-minute short film created by Kira Bursky and Robert Gowan, and briefly tells the story of Emma: a depressed artist who struggles with confidence and loving herself. Depression can be quite a taboo topic in modern day society, yet it’s still the norm of many young teenagers dealing with peer pressure and body image, so to see a film around the topic of depression isn’t uncommon, however Fake Emma is an interesting and unique spin on the overused plot device – which is quite an eye-opener for someone (like myself) who has never had the misfortune of dealing with such a dangerous mental health issue.
The idea behind Fake Emma is quite a unique one. Emma (Lindsey Whitus) has an art gallery opening soon, yet she finds herself communicating with a personified version of depression – herself, but in art form. This brings a sense of freshness to the genre and breaks the mould for these types of films.
The conflict between Emma and depression is too short. It’s like the depression is controlling her, yet we don’t see much development of this conflict because of the short runtime. This is mainly where the short falls flat, but regardless the dynamic is still riveting.
The middle portion of the film is created with great flair; the filmmaking is solid during this section and it’s easily the biggest highlight of the film. Other technical aspects of the short-film are all done surprisingly well. The script is short and brief, but certainly isn’t bad.
Fake Emma is quite effective at what it’s trying to do, and Lindsey Whitus is great as the protagonist, but the short-film suffers greatly because it’s far too short and doesn’t contain enough development of the ongoing conflict between Emma and her depression. However, the idea is executed with some great talent behind the camera.