The fantasy short film DISPEL is the story of a girl’s heart-wrenching battle with a terrifying monster for the soul of her mother.
Lizzie (Eris Baker, This Is Us) is an ebullient teenager who enjoys watching her favorite television heroine, Celeste Skygoode (Gina Torres, Pearson, Firefly), defend the galaxy from the forces of evil.
Unfortunately, Lizzie is coping with her own personal battle against evil in the form of a monster that has seized her mother. To make matters worse, her older brother - and only ally - Mark (Omete Anassi) is preparing to leave home.
Overwhelmed by hurt and pain over her mother’s fate, Lizzie summons the one person she believes can defeat the monster: Celeste Skygoode.
But when she actually meets Celeste in the flesh, Lizzie learns she has extraordinary powers of her own, and that her greatest weapon is her unconditional love for her mother.
Written and directed by filmmaker Kylie Eaton, DISPEL is a poignant fantasy short film about a young girl finding empowerment and strength.
Listen to our interview with Kylie Eaton on episode #68 of our EYE ON SCI-FI podcast!
The casting of Gina Torres in the role of cosmic guardian Celeste is genius. Herself an icon of genre television, Torres elevates any project she is involved in with her regal presence, gravitas, and charisma.
DISPEL is no exception and though her screen time is brief, Torres is an essential part of the short’s wonderful alchemy.
Also magical is young Eris Baker as Lizzie. The young actress has the burden of carrying much of the dramatic weight of the story.
She succeeds with aplomb by turning in a terrific performance buoyed by its emotional honesty.
Eaton also pays homage to iconic genre television series of the ‘80s and ‘90s with her meticulous creation of the fictional fantasy television series Celeste Skygoode.
Nostalgic charm oozes from scenes in which Lizzie watches old episodes of Celeste Skygoode on VHS tapes via a VCR. The mock television episodes are given the grainy, etched look attained by VHS tapes nearly worn out by many repeated viewings.
That level of fine attention to detail is sure to evoke fond memories of the Blockbuster Video era for many viewers.
The wonderful inclusive cast in conjunction with Eaton’s dynamic directorial stye, singular vision, and detailed world building combine to create a touching and compelling story about the power of hope.
Watch the official DISPEL trailer…
Visit YouTube to watch the online premiere of DISPEL.
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