Directed by: #AimeeBowe
Written by: #AimeeBowe
This is not your average LGBTQ+ film, and it is perfect that way. Stretching The Play is a lighthearted comedy, following the travels of school girl Sophie (Sophie Galustian.) She has just moved from Manchester to a school in Wiltshire and finds herself becoming an outcast in this new environment. From afar, she is incredibly fond of one of the more popular girls in the school, Natalie (Lucy Heath,) and is eager to seek out a relationship with her. At first, Natalie seems to want the same, but as the plot unravels, issues begin to rise that push their building relations apart.
For the film to officially be made, in 2018 a Crowdfunder was created to gather the costs needed for production. The film excelled and raised more money than their hoped outcome; upon viewing, it is clear to see why this short film gathered so much interest and support from the public. As the description mentioned within the Crowdfunder, the writer and director of the film, Aimee Bowe, understands the importance of representation of the LGBTQ+ community in film and she believes that ‘films involving the community don’t need to be the main plot line or the cause of a disequilibrium.’ For a writer to focus upon a different route to present the community is extraordinary and should be a course of action seen more within mainstream Hollywood films.
The script itself is magnificent, housing subtle comedic traits and superb text that can be interpreted as metaphors to relate to today’s society. Aimee Bowe’s talent is obvious and shines throughout her writing. Parts of the film expertly break the forth wall and connect the audience to Sophie’s personality in a much deeper sense. Personally, Sophie reminded me a lot of myself and I felt that this specific technique enticed me even further into the story and helped me build a friendship-type relation with the character herself. I loved the intimate moments as Sophie Galustian looks directly into the lens of the camera and speaks the wonderfully written words, as if the audience is living within the character’s mind; simply gazing and offering their comfort through their presence.
Acting appearances by the whole cast involved are tremendous, especially in regards to Sophie Galustian and Lucy Heath. Both actresses have a strong, unique stance onscreen and can take the spotlight in their grasp when they are in its illumination. They have great ability in presenting their characters through their mannerisms and delivery of speech throughout the film. When together in a scene, their characters radiate an energy that matches each other, fitting like two correct puzzle pieces. Their onscreen chemistry is profound and utterly stunning.
Paired with exquisite acting, each scene in this film is beautifully shot and edited. Films themselves are undeniably labelled as visual experiences but this film carries a pleasing range of colour, style and camera angles that should be positively noticed and commented upon. It is a feast for the eyes. The directors of photography, Luigi Truscelli and George Davis, as well as editor Charlee Avis, should be highly praised for their work on this project and their seemingly natural talent relating to their titles.
Furthermore, this production has unknowingly raised awareness to the forever talked about topic of women in film. With a female led cast and crew, the film makes a powerful statement while also being paired with the originally intended plot line showcasing the LGBTQ+ community. Stretching The Play is packed with emotion and positivity; a project with a valuable message that can be applied to every individual’s way of life and also for other projects within the wider film industry. A heartwarming short film that must awarded by being spread worldwide.