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average rating is 5 out of 5


Amber Jackson


Posted on:

Oct 20, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Hannah Almond Barr
Written by:
Olivia D'Lima
Olivia D'Lima, Hannah Almond Barr

BEIGE is a mini short film conveying the awkward and at times painful moments of a mixed-race actor during auditions. Writer Olivia D’Lima provides viewers with a real insight into real life comments from those within the industry and how cringe-worthy they can be. This is ultimately an uncomfortable and comedic look at actors putting themselves out there for rejection. Yet, it is also incredibly vulnerable as it highlights how much more work needs to be done in order for UK society, and indeed much of the acting and entertainment industry, to work out racial prejudices and preconceptions.


Director Hannah Almond Barr does a fantastic job at positioning the camera to gaze upon the actress, Chloe, intrusively, as though the producers are scrutinizing everything about her appearance. You get the sense throughout the short that she is very uneasy with the pressure and indeed the comments made about her hair and skin colour. It is shocking, yet unsurprising, that a mixed-race woman is being treated in this manner. Time and time again, we hear stories about these types of issues within the acting world and the casting process more specifically within this film, where an actor is described as ‘ethnically vague or ‘too white’ or ‘too dark’. This short is brutally and unashamedly honest and should be commended because of it.


Chloe must confront infuriating questions like ‘no, but where are you REALLY from?’ and ‘can you straighten your hair?’ – all whilst maintaining a polite smile, with frustration burning in her eyes. D’Lima and Barr together manage to encapsulate these overwhelming feelings of anger and disappointment, tinged with the sad reality that the producers have probably already made up their mind before Chloe has even left the room. Audition processes are already brutal and unnerving as an actor, but it is worse to be confronted by weird and unnecessary comments that are painful to watch. This scene shows a whole other dimension to how difficult it is for a performer to also have their identity pulled apart and interrogated, as well as being moulded into a box against their will.


As a short film, it is very snappy and to the point and conveys its themes very successfully within just five minutes. In addition to the harsh acting world, the length of the film attests to the realities of a brilliant actress only getting a limited amount of time to show what she can do. Although she is a very good performer and shows range, Chloe is not given enough time or enough of a chance from the panel to prove herself. Her ethnicity comes into question again and again and those holding the auditions leave a sour taste in the viewer’s mouth as we know exactly what is going on when they say that she is not ‘enough’ of anything. The fantastic end credits song ‘Mixed Feelings’ by the brilliant NENDA exactly sums up the mood of the film: that too many people think that mixed-race women are not ‘enough’.


BEIGE has a simple setup and yet is very effective in its closeness to reality. It confronts the issues surrounding racial bias and prejudice within the acting and film world with equal measures of humour and honesty, making it well worth a watch.

About the Film Critic
Amber Jackson
Amber Jackson
Short Film
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