This Short Tells a Story with a Single Motif
This Saturday (that’s August 26th for those of you without planners), Birmingham’s beloved Sidewalk Film Festival will be showing Birmingham-Southern student short “annie?” at 5:20 PM in the Alabama School of Fine Arts lecture hall.
Written and directed by Birmingham-Southern junior, Hannah Scofied, “annie?” will represent the school’s young Media and Film Studies program that has recently been led by new instructors, Robert Corna and Teddy Champion. The arrival of these two professors immediately preceded the program's recent ranking as the number one film school in Alabama.
“annie?” is only a small sample of the student shorts produced in the Production One class last fall, but its non-traditional title and punctuation has not ceased to make people scratch their heads and misspell the name since its creation.
While most opt to punctuate “annie?” traditionally like Thomas Meehan’s beloved play, BSC sophomore Claire Campbell laughs, “This film is not like the musical.” After helping with the lighting as a Production Assistant for the film, Campbell knows first-hand how dark the short story really is.
The punctuation is reminiscent of a cell phone—the film’s biggest motif. A phone call starts the movie before we even see a human face. The phone follows Annie throughout the film, vibrating with her every move as she reconnects with memories in her childhood home. Unsettling sounds and colors common to phone screens reappear throughout the short. Even the end of the film, similar to the beginning, is faceless, using only a chilling phone conversation inspired by a real 911 call to penetrate the speakers and screen.
If the film is like the world of a phone, the title is an SMS: clicking on it unlocks the story of a girl whose predator is only a text message away.
The film is only seven minutes long, but as tiny as it is, this BSC student attempts to pack many horrors of reality through the familiar screen.
To see this film along with several other shorts directed by young filmmakers, purchase your ticket online at https://sidewalkfest.com/tickets/.
“annie?” will be playing in the Teen Shorts section of the schedule on August 26th. Tickets are $15 a section.
*Sidewalk Film Festival is an annual event in Alabama that shows local and international indie films in various theaters in downtown Birmingham.