A Dual Commentary

In Samantha Severin’s neon-tinged thriller Blue, a nameless girl makes a living off of her webcam without realising just how closely her audience is paying attention to her.

Shot with noirish intent, this feverish modern mystery shows a lonely young woman who studies and works in the city, but strikes up a swelling fanbase for her online performances while taking private sessions on the side. 

Through a 2001: A Space Odyssey-type interaction with an especially keen customer, the girl begins to lose grip on who is real and who isn’t, in spite of assurances that her identity is kept safely under wraps. 

Severin uses taught pacing and subdued lighting to create instant suspense but blends a variety of different visual reference points to enhance her narrative, which serves as a dual commentary on female objectification in the digital age. A writer and director who lives in New York City, Severin’s work addresses existential themes through a hyperstyalised contemporary lens, and the film stars Veronika Vilim, a model, punk musician and actress from Manhattan. 

Blue played as part of the Thriller programme for the BAFTA-qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival. The strand is comprised of short-form suspense stories from across the world and showcases fear-fueled, panic-stricken and hair-rising delights to play with your senses and your expectations, making you – like the sultry protagonist in Blue – question if what you’re seeing is real at all. 

Submissions are now open for the 10th edition of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

BAFTA-Qualifying ASFF 2020 takes place from 4 – 8 November with an unrivalled programme of short films and immersive media showcases, networking opportunities, career development initiatives and interactive talks, Q&As and workshops. Submit your work here.