Neon

By Mark J. Blackman | Sci-Fi
A man is forbidden from pursuing love. So he plans to escape his heartbreaking existence.

Elias is a man with a mysterious disfigurement and a strange power: he helps people meet and fall in love. But he’s forbidden from falling in love himself.

Yet he does loves a woman named Mary — a modern, independent woman who has only known Elias over messages on dating sites and then over the phone. Frustrated with the parameters of their relationship, Elias can’t tell Mary who he really is or why they can’t meet. Stalked by a pair of mysterious men around the city, he decides to let Mary go and give her a chance at real love — in the only way he can.

Writer-director Mark J. Blackman, along with producer Roxanne Holman, has crafted an audacious, noirish urban thriller about forbidden love that mixes ambitious storytelling with moody visual atmospherics to create an immersive, visceral world.

Combining stylistic elements of urban sci-fi/fantasy with an emotional heart of a modern love story, the film frames the narrative through what’s essentially a break-up conversation, weaving in flashbacks to Elias’s origins and background, revealing his fascinating truth as a character and teasing a world that melds elements of the supernatural with science fiction. The revealing, vulnerable voiceover contrasts with the panache of the visuals, which move with the pulse of a London dancefloor, complete with hyper-saturated colors and kinetic, fluid editing.

But the core of the film is the love story, brought to life by deft performances by lead actors Joe Absolom — who British viewers may recognize from “EastEnders” — and Kerry Bennett, who play the doomed lovers with both the hard-boiled edge of a thriller and the intensity of romantic passion.

When the past catches up to the present — and Elias sets Mary free — the film then shifts into full thriller mode, and its ultra-stylish visuals, editing and propulsive musical score collide into an epic, even operatic crescendo.

“Neon” packs a feature’s worth of narrative into a short film, both in the writing and the production, and viewers will be left longing for some more time with the enigmatic, mysterious characters and world that Blackman has constructed. Impeccably crafted and cinematic on a scale that’s rare for a short film, “Neon” is transportive and sweeping in look and feel. It easily tantalizes the eye with confidence and bravura — but it also draws in the heart, making it all the more relatable and memorable.




You Might Also Like:

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A depressed woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

Bless Me Father

By Paul M. Horan | Drama
A priest has a moral dilemma when a man confesses a secret that affects his life.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Drama
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

Mordechai

By Benjamin Bee | Drama
An ultra-Orthodox Jew reunites with his twin brother for their father's funeral.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman uncovers the truth about the man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

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

Cradle (The Oscars)

By Devon Manney | Animation
A veteran soldier battles phantom pains and memories of a pre-war life.

Don’t Be a Hero (Sundance)

By Pete Lee | Drama
A woman robs banks as 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.

Lost & Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A farmer invests his savings in a piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.



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.