Duration 00:12:20
Director: Stefanie Abel Horowitz
Writers: Stefanie Abel Horowitz, Katy Wright-Mead, Kevin Armento
Producers: Stefanie Abel Horowitz, Katy Wright-Mead
Cast: Katy Wright-Mead, Jim Sarbh

The shortlist for the 2020 Academy Awards was released recently, and Sometimes, I Think About Dying directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz made the cut. This is great news for the film and the team working on it. Hopefully it ends up getting the nomination later on. It deserves that accolade as it’s such a singularly authentic cinematic experience.

Fran is a shy, very awkward and maybe even clinically depressed young woman. She starts dating a very nice guy, but she doesn’t really feel anything, and she hesitates to tell him that she thinks about dying as the title clearly alludes to.

Needless to say, this film deals with rarely portrayed people and storylines in cinema as a whole, and for that alone it deserves very high praise. Fran is a very complex, wonderfully developed character for such a short period of time, and you come to really know her during the film’s twelve minutes.

The romance that develops between the two is very interesting as she herself doesn’t feel pleasure from all of the regular, to many people objectively wonderful things such as dates and nice partners. But she does think about death sometimes which makes her a depressed, and maybe even more psychologically troubled person who needs help.

The film carefully treads this ground without ever feeling exploitative. It portrays Fran as a someone you would root for to find happiness, and she’s so great in no small part thanks to the central performance from Katy Wright-Mead which is downright fantastic. She is revelatory in those emotional moments in particular, and this is the kind of performance that should make an actress a star. Hopefully, she will get more great roles in the future.

The same should definitely be said for the director Stefanie Abel Horowitz. Her direction here is simply superb, very confident and she handled both the actors and the storyline remarkably well. The film’s dialogue is great, it manages to be intense and awkward in equal measure and the cinematography is also masterful with some phenomenal close-ups at display.

What is also worth praising is the editing which is excellent with some terrific cuts throughout the film’s runtime while the movie overall flows really well too. It is easy to see why it won an award in the Short Narrative category at Dumbo Film Festival. It entirely deserved it.

In conclusion, Sometimes, I Think About Dying is practically perfect in every way as the kind of short film that potently showcases the immense power of the medium. The cinematography, the amazing performances and its authentic script go in tandem to create what is an instantly memorable, fascinating film.