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Ya Clown

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Nov 26, 2021

Film Reviews
Ya Clown
Directed by:
David Gilna
Written by:
David Gilna
Nathan Clarke, Frank Allen, Edward Fossett

While stuck in detention, a schoolboy dreams of becoming a famous clown.


A little boy (Clarke) has been misbehaving and is being kept at school after hours as punishment. He is inside a classroom and he is being supervised by a teacher (Allen) who proceeds to lecture him about his behaviour and tells him that he will always be a clown. This causes the student to swiftly use his imagination and transport himself inside a circus, where he is a clown.


This award-winning fun comedy short is one minute long but it does so much in so little time. It's 2018 release marks 250 years since the first circus event took place. The main messages appear to be that one should dream big and that not everyone shares the same perspective. The teacher believes that being a clown is a negative thing, while the boy believes that such a profession would be awesome. The atmosphere is rather uplifting and it focuses on a boy who will not let others deter him from being who he wants to be.


The filmmakers utilise very creative sound editing techniques when the story swifts from reality to fantasy. As the teacher is angrily speaking to the child, his words blend with the circus music, until the circus number takes over and the transition also includes a well constructed match cut. The circus section is quite amusing and contains wonderful mise-en-scene. It includes the clown who is wearing makeup and a costume and he is cheerful and dances and performs various tricks as clowns do. He is on a stage inside a circus and although the crowd is not seen, the sounds of cheering and applause are heard. The clown also breaks the fourth wall as he speaks words of encouragement.


The three protagonists deliver performances that are convincing and entertaining. Clarke is a young boy with huge imagination and Allen is a strict, no-nonsense teacher. Fossett is great as the happy clown.


This is Gilna's directorial debut and he does a very good job that includes a wonderful aerial shot of a circus. Director of photography Louis Maxwell provides beautiful cinematography and the editing by Carl O'Donovan is effective. Composer Trisha O'Keefe creates music that accompanies the images successfully.


Ya Clown is an uplifting story about believing in oneself, having dreams and not being influenced by others not to pursue them. It pays homage to 250 years of circus performances and it will most likely put a smile on the viewer's face.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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