A Foreman

By Daniel Drummond | Drama
A foreman must run a machine shop while protecting her workers' interests.

Tess is a foreman at a factory clearly cares about the workers she oversees, but also has to balance the demands of a boss who treats his staff unfairly, often shorting their pay.

But when an inspector from the Department of Labor comes in, the foreman has to weigh the opportunity to create a fair, more equitable workplace versus the possibility of closing down the factory and losing jobs. With no clear course and collateral damage guaranteed no matter what decision she makes, she faces a difficult dilemma that gives her no room for a clear conscience.

Writer-director Daniel Drummond's short, powerful drama examines the tensions and fragile power lines that pull at working-class factory life. It's also an incisive portrait of a person trying to make an ethical decision, in a situation where every choice has terrible consequences.

Grounded in a sense of authenticity that feels almost documentary-like, it offers a window into the tensions American factories face as they transition into a post-industrial age. Yet with naturalistic lighting and camerawork overseen by cinematographer Connor Vickers and a sound design that balances the whirs and noise of factories with an elegantly effective musical score, the short is undeniably well-crafted, each element adding to a story that quietly but inexorably ramps up the tension.

The film is anchored by a powerful, nuanced performance by lead actress Piercey Dalton, who brings an understated screenplay to life. She lets Tessa's conflicting thoughts and feelings flicker across her face as Tessa clearly tries her best to appease everyone and advocate for the workers she oversees. But she's torn between what she knows is right and what is expedient. Dalton's face is increasingly weighed down by the situation, and when she's faced with an untenable dilemma, she makes a life-altering choice.

Nominated for a 2017 Student Academy Award, "A Foreman" is resolutely un-melodramatic, but it effectively dramatizes what it means to live and act with integrity in a world where there is nothing but shades of gray. Focused on character and committed to authenticity, the film gains its power by narrowing its scope to one pressure cooker of a decision, effectively playing it out almost entirely in real-time within the inner life of a pivotal character. There are no easy answers for our foreman -- or for an endangered sector of American life in general -- and at the end of the story, there are also no more illusions that there ever could be.




You Might Also Like:

Iniquity

By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.

Pony

By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.



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.