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Film & Television Review

“Sparkles” (2020) Review

Sparkles is a celebratory, joyous, and important short film written, co-produced and starring Tina Fielding (Different Lens), directed by Jacqueline Pelczar (Single Ladies), and produced by Cody Greenwood (Under the Volcano, Mystic Pines) from Western Australia’s Rush Films.

The film follows Courtney (Tina Fielding) as she seeks to leave her past behind, and run away from a small country town towards the city. Along her journey she makes an unlikely friend in Diamond, a Drag Queen from “Middle of Nowhere”, Outback (population: dropping). The film is a coming of age story, and a celebration of disability on the silver screen.

The short film was officially selected for Flickerfest International Film Festival (one of Australia’s only Academy Qualifying & BAFTA recognised festivals), and showcased in selected Perth cinemas just after our short-lived lockdown – allowing a further sense of community amongst audiences.

“Making Sparkles, and seeing it released is a real dream come true for me. It means a lot to be able to see myself and my community represented on screen in a way that I can relate to for the very first time,” says Tina Fielding (identifying as living with a disability, and is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community). Mentored by Pelczar since 2018, the team worked on developing Sparkles with the assistance of ScreenWest and Film in Western Australia.

The short film is reminiscent of Kinky Boots, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, and goes on to inspire homage to Australia’s classic films. It reminds us of what cinema can be produced from Down Under, whilst looking fabulous in the process.

A beautiful score by APRA award-winning composer, Sean Tinnion, and fellow LGBTQIA+ identifier, brings interconnected charm and nuance to the short film. At times the script, and interconnected situations fall a bit short, but overall Sparkles shines bright as a conceptual short film destined for larger audiences in the future.

To find out more, check out Sparkles at Rush Films.

By JOSHUA HALL HAINES
Editor-in-Chief, The Independent Press Co.

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