16 year old student Michael Keane won this year’s Audience Choice Award for his short crime drama film based on the Columbine school shootings ‘Final Shot‘ at “Ireland’s Young Filmmaker Of The Year” awards for the annual 24th Fresh Film Festival. Inspired by the current COVID-19 pandemic, he decided to create a captivating story, that explores a young man’s feelings in an ever-changing situation.

Without any real end in sight at fighting this virus, all of this young man’s hopes and dreams slowly vanish, creating a realistically claustrophobic sense of despair that’s all too familiar to many of us. COVID ÉIRE takes place on a train, while switching between Keane (who also stars in his own short film) and news reports on the virus in Ireland and the rest of the world. While watching home made videos of people having fun, this person reflects on his life before this all started, carefully wishing everything would go back to normal.

All by himself using his film making skills and personal experience from the pandemic, Keane has developed a topical story. Although the short film is only five minutes long, this young filmmaker knows precisely how to create an atmosphere that feels personal to him, but to which we can all relate. The story could’ve benefited from being a tad bit longer, since it builds up to a certain sense of never ending gloom that then abruptly ends.

COVID ÉIRE is an easy watch, even though it shouldn’t be. The loss of happiness and joy is visible on the young man’s face, while the tone of his voice exudes that same feeling. An interesting short that showcases the talent of Ireland’s youngest filmmaker.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Watch COVID ÉIRE right now:

Short Film Review – ‘COVID ÉIRE’

Reviewed on YouTube, July 28, 2020. Rating: G. Running time: 5 min.

CREW: Director/screenplay/camera/editor: Michael Keane.

WITH: Michael Keane.

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