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Short Program: "Planes of Reality"
May 3, 8:30 p.m.

Dreams about dead wives. Unwanted pregnancies. Ominously swirling
ceiling fans. These are some of the motifs of choice among short
filmmakers these days, at least if this program is any indication. But
thankfully, that's not all this filmic six-pack has holding it
together. Each mini-feature aspires to pierce a plane of reality,
whether it's social, psychological, or metaphysical, and they all
manage to break through, with varying degrees of success.

A few films--such as Desiree Guarino's lottery-ticket parable "The Big
Game" and Kyle DeAngelo's gritty street story "wish"--hinge on Twilight
Zone-like hairpin plot turns. Others trade either in social currency
(as in Derek Frank's stilted "By Any Other," in which a woman confesses
to her boyfriend that she's been going by a fake first name) or hollow
artiness (Vladimir Khomenko's "F8" looks like an experiment in how many
dream-sequence clichés can be shoehorned into a length of film).

But the laurels here go to the program's twin pillars: Tamika Lamison's
"Hope" might corner the market on both dead-wife flashbacks and
swirling ceiling-fan shots, but the wholehearted acting turns this
basic tale about a man mourning lost love into a deeply felt tale of
redemption. Likewise, Mateen O. Kemet's "Silence" may not be the only
film in this program that takes an unwanted pregnancy as its central
point of conflict, but the acting is so flinty that it can't help but
create sparks, and it's lensed with tender and colorful affection. (BD)

Baltimore Online Daily

Surely one of the strongest and most impressive shorts in the bfm
festival is silence by Mateen O. Kemet. This is indeed a powerful
portrayal of a young woman with a horrendous secret. Beautifully shot
and imaginatively edited, it is a carefully crafted film which plays
with image and structure in order to convey the inner soul of the
protagonist, bearing her soul for all to see and feel as it deals with
the subject of teenage abuse. Fine performances cap an excellent filmt
hat is without a doubt a must – see short.

Mark Norfolk – bfm -- black film Magazine
Autumn, 2003, Vol. 5 No. 21

Bill Stamets, the critic, wrote: " SILENCE, an experimental take on problematic pregnancy, is resonant as drama."

Chicago Reader


I just saw the film "Silence" at the Sidewalk Film Festival in
Birmingham, Alabama, and I was amazed.  My wife is the director of the
Jefferson County (i.e. Birmingham) shelter, and unfortunately missed
the screening.  I know that she would like to have a copy of this film
for her shelter if it is possible.  is there any way that this can be

Please convey my praise to Mr. Kemet for me.  It was the best thing I
saw at the festival.

Robert McCrary