I had the pleasure of screening THE ILLADELPHIA GLOW, the debut sci-fi short film by homegrown Philadelphia writer, director and best-selling author Mister Mann Frisby.
In the film, Winston Ligon (Aundre Dean) grapples with the discovery of an unwelcome superpower. After a run-in with a mysterious stranger named The Lady In Black (Jacinth Headlam), Winston tries to understand and come to grips with his newfound ability – relying on his cousin Royal (Crystal Lee Brown) and his active lifestyle to maintain sanity. But he ultimately comes face-to-face with the consequences of harnessing and using such a power.
It’s a testament to the writer’s adeptness that when the shoe drops, and it’s revealed to the audience what The Iladelphia Glow actually is, I kept watching – seeing as though I have a very personal connection to the subject matter. And I was already invested in the main character and his journey – a testament to lead actor Aundre Dean’s magnetic pull. A little over three and a half minutes is all it took to captivate and command my attention until the twisty end.
It was also a pleasure to watch Frisby display his love of Philadelphia and its culture, teaching, music, and fitness and have each of those things add to the richness of the short.
I also love the casting and location choices – shout out to my friend Desiree and her staff at The Breakfast Boutique and also to Philly soul legend Lady Alma, who really stands out as a homeless woman that Winston encounters on his journey.
Director of Photography Lionel Anthony Cook’s keen eye was on display as well – and I feel like I need to re-visit some areas of this city asap!
At 19 minutes long, the film plays out like a superhero story that’s cut way too short. I can’t wait to see if it’s given the opportunity, and the budget, to be realized on a grander scale. I rate it 4 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
THE ILLADELPHIA GLOW is available today on Amazon Prime and other digital platforms.
Until next thought, Thomasena