Cherry Season

Joshua Longhurst’s short film Cherry Season, shot by cinematographer Emma Paine, was reviewed as part of the Australian short film program at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) in 2019.

Review by James Cunningham.

A scene from 'Cherry Season' - DOP Emma Paine
A scene from ‘Cherry Season’ – DOP Emma Paine

The first project from independent film production company Wintergarden Pictures and the second short film from director Joshua Longhurst, Cherry Season explores themes of sexuality and identity in rural Australia. 

Between stacking the shelves with cherries and scrolling through women on her feed, there doesn’t appear to be much going on for Shantelle (Yassica Switakowski). She discovers her wayward teenage half-sister (Kate Fruend) posting raunchy pics online and Shantelle, with the help callow workmate Connors (an outstanding Travis Jeffery), must hunt her down to stop Tamara crossing a dangerous line.

Shooting in a simple and uncomplicated 4:3 format, cinematographer Emma Paine employs a liberal use of hand-held in this film, adding to an almost uncomfortable ‘what is going to happen’ tension. Beginning with the caustic neon of an IGA; as time passes, the light diminishes. The sunset beautifully signals the arrival of the dark, and with it mystery and drama. Cherry Season is easily one of the best short films at any festival this year.

James Cunningham is the Editor of Australian Cinematographer Magazine.

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