By VK Lynne (Los Angeles, CA)

 

The Bard once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Nowhere is that more apparent than in a successful short film.

Regardless of length, it is always a victory when a writer completes that first script. What makes The Space Between unique is the amalgam of accomplishments that it represents.

Amber Sweet began as an experienced and talented actress, but when an injury temporarily sidelined her physically, she used it as an opportunity to explore her creativity more literarily. As a first-time writer, she wisely chose to “write what you know”, however, that was far from taking the ‘safe route’. On the contrary, she opened up the most deep and painful parts of her life and examined what story lived there…then she told it.

The Space Between explores what happens when Rachel, a woman troubled by the past loss for her mother, comes to terms with a lack of her own maternal desire. Support from her father and clashes with her husband -and herself- ensue, as Rachel dives into what childlessness means in her marriage and in today’s society.

After penning the script, Sweet was recovered from her injury and not about to sit this one out. She plays the titular role of Rachel with a mournfulness that can only be summoned through real life pain and her counterpart, The Tick series regular Scott Speiser, challenges her without every falling into a clichéd caricature of ‘the angry husband’. Casting director Kelly Knox is to be congratulated as well; there is not a weak link in the chain. Nicole Fazio is Rachel’s encouraging therapist; Janna Bossier and Presley Moore play her mother and her young self, respectively, in flashback scenes that give the audience just enough information to empathize with Rachel’s dilemma. The addition of the venerable John Ennis as Rachel’s father adds weight to an already formidable cast.

Working with Seed & Spark, Sweet secured funding and distribution for her short piece, another feat for a debuting screenwriter. The film itself is beautifully shot and edited, and the presentation is professional and poignant. Skillfully directed by Taren Maroun and expertly edited by Sean McHugh, the story never lags, but makes it point and leaves the audience to consider its value.

But the real achievement here is the confluence of circumstances, inside the story and out, which makes The Space Between notable as a film, but more importantly, as an act of triumphant feminism in a time that sorely needs it.

A female writer and lead actress, working with a female director, creates a piece of art that takes on gender expectations in current culture, in an industry that has recently been exposed as operating in a persistently chauvinistic paradigm.

If that isn’t a statement, what is?

The Space between can be viewed online right now:

Trailer available here: https://vimeo.com/201742335

Watch the film online via Seed&Spark:

https://www.seedandspark.com/watch/the-space-between

Note: The Space Between has been named semi-finalist in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.

Rating: 5/5

 

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