The Backseat

By Joe Stankus and Ashley Connor | Comedy
Two octogenarians become tasked with driving their grown child to work.

Two octogenarian parents are enlisted to drive their adult daughter to work one day. The commute may be short, but the list of long-simmering resentments and tensions is long, and the ride proves anything but easygoing as the family travels together in close proximity.

Directors Joe Stankus and Ashley Connor use a blend of documentary and fiction film techniques to create a unique hybrid film, creating a narrative based on very real familial conflicts and dynamics.

All the performers are non-actors: in fact, they are family members of the filmmakers themselves, who enlisted them to portray themselves in a fictional scenario. However, the performers were not given a script or even a story, responding instead to cues and directions as they were given. They’re captured in naturalistic, handheld camera movement that is a hallmark of projects as diverse as the Maysles brothers’s “direct cinema” documentaries and fiction films like “The Blair Witch Project.”

But while the performers are acting out a story, they’re still performing themselves, and the result is an intriguing mix of real life and narrative that blurs the very idea of reality. The onscreen story may be made up, but the feelings and dynamics between the family members are very real — and very relatably funny at times.

“The Backseat” is both deeply funny and familiar in its neuroses as an engaging portrait of complex family life. The deep sense of obligation and connection are enduring, and so is the intensity that these can hold upon people. But the bonds that weave it all together are full of love, which is why they weigh so heavily, why they’re so difficult to break and why they give such meaning to human existence.




You Might Also Like:

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
Her husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman confronts a painful time in her life after discovering the truth about a mysterious old man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man, upon dying, is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Cradle

By Devon Manney | Animation
Returning to the U.S. after losing both arms, a veteran battles phantom pains, prosthetics and memories of his pre-war life.

Hold On

By Charlotte Scott-Wilson | Drama
A young cellist develops stage fright after one of her cello strings comes lose during an important performance.

Don’t Be a Hero

By Pete Lee | Drama
A middle-aged woman battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break.

Our Kind of Love

By Elham Ehsas and Azeem Bhati | Romance
An Afghan village girl goes on her first date in London.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley, Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invests his life savings in a thoroughbred piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
Two strangers, trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception, end up making an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
Two brothers caught in a time loop must traverse a series of maze-like events in order to prevent a catastrophic fire from occurring.

Garfield

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.

Partners

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.

Small Arms ft. Tyler Young

By Arman Cole | Drama
A bullied college student seeks out shooting lessons with an ex-militia member to prove his manhood.

Balance

By Mark Ram | Drama
Two friends climb a mountain, connected by a rope. But when one falls, the other's life hangs in an unstable balance.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man finds himself in between a food-truck and a brothel. Then, he meets his dream girl.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.