Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival
SIXTEEN Review by Liam McGarry
Rob Brown’s feature debut is a deft and immersive portrayal of young asylum seekers living in Britain, with solid performances from lead actors Roger Nsengiyumva, Rachael Stirling and the rest of the ensemble cast. The film’s greatest strength lies in its deployment of realism through suppressed, naturalistic characterisation and its deliberate, well considered dialogue. Brown’s story is tense and compelling, he succeeds in gaining a thrilling atmosphere, and an impending sense of danger without sacrificing the believability of the dilemmas in the film. I felt that in particular, Brown handled Jumah’s backstory with subtlety and care, creating dramatic tension without patronising the audience.
BEACH BOY Review by Kathi Kamleitner
With his striking short film 'Beach Boy' Danish filmmaker Emil Langballe shines a light onto the unveiled reality of sex tourism in contemporary Kenya. The story he tells is similar to Ulrich Seidl's 'Paradise: Love' which one year earlier competed for the Palme d'Or in Cannes. What sets it apart however is that it is a documentary investigating the processes of co-dependence between male companions and female benefactors.
‘Sixteen’, a thriller about former child soldier Jumah, opened the Commonwealth Film & Theatre Festival last week. Festival Directors Martin Petrov and Kathi Kamleitner sat down with its director Rob Brown and talked about his intense feature debut.
ROB BROWN Interview by Martin Petrov