A dark secret comes to light as a mother casually bonds with her young daughter.
This short film from writer-director Kelly Fyffe-Marshall stars D’evina Chatrie and Tika Simone, and has just screened at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
Fyffe-Marshall packs a lot into the film’s three minute runtime – the effect of media on young minds, the importance of providing a safe space for children to share their feelings, and how the simple act of brushing hair can strengthen the bonds of trust between parent and child.
The direction and cinematography create a creeping sense of unease without diluting the shock of the dark turn the story takes, while both mother and daughter are naturalistically and sensitively portrayed by Chatrie and Simone. The film’s short, sharp shock plays for maximum dramatic impact, but a bit more length and depth might have afforded greater emotional engagement with the characters.
Director and writer Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s powerful short drama, “Haven”, received its North American premiere on at SXSW Film Festival, and stars Tika Simone and talented young actress, D’evina Chatrie.
We sat down with Kelly and the film’s female producer Tamar Bird for a chat.
Tell us about where this story evolved from. How long were you working on this story before you decided to start?
Haven evolved from a conversation I had with my good friend and DOP Jordan Oram. We spoke about making a powerful film that had just two characters in one room. That night I came home and wrote Haven. I thought about a picture that we don’t see in film, a black woman and her daughter getting her hair done. For black children growing up this is a safe Haven, I thought about what conversation would be born out of that. What deep secret would you reveal to your mother? From this Haven was born.
What makes Haven different or special?
Haven is three minutes long. It’s classified as a short short. In such a small timeframe, I am able to reel in the viewer, make them fall in love with the family and then leave them wanting more.
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