The Shipment @ Tribeca Film Festival

Being a single parent isn’t easy under the best of circumstances, but the best is not the case for Kaiden (Aleks Paunovic – This Means War, War for the Planet of the Apes). He is a widow raising his daughter Zohra (Ishana Bala – first film) and times are trying.

Kaiden used to transport human cargo in slave trading. Mostly due to pressure from his teenage daughter he has reformed and is now making money as a cargo transporter. However, this does not bring in much cash. Times are lean. His ship is in serious need of repair.

When he is offered a chance to make some serious money, Kaiden is up against a moral conundrum. This is because he is once again being asked to transport human cargo. Difficult choice as he dreams of a better life for his daughter.

Despite the fact that this is a short film (27 minutes) it is a complete piece of work. Director Bobby Bala (first film), who did everything on the film as he directs, wrote the script and produced it, does not shortchange the viewer in any way. Even the way it looks (production value, make up and special effects) is like it is a feature length film with a bigger budget.

Though the budget for the film was $1 million and it certainly looks like it. It took over four years to make it and turned out to be one of the most expensive live-action shorts ever shot.

Besides the father-daughter relationship, social issues, especially immigration and displaced peoples, crop up. Very timely subject. People who have to leave their home countries due to war, famine, etc. are usually subject to racism and mistreatment in their newly adopted countries. Human migration is often not a clean cut issue. A moral decision related to this crops up and illustrates how things are often not black or white.

Sci fi fans are usually a tough crowd. Almost religious in their fervour in regards to their preferred genre. Hopefully fans will get to see this film somewhere.

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