Director Brian Lawes scores a nerve-wracking cinematic experience with this live-action short that explores the moment in a young boy’s life when a few ill-fated decisions made out of solemn duty to his younger brother, spiral out of his control. Lost Kings takes an effective narrative approach to dramatizing the heart pounding experience of trying to evade capture.
We are introduced to our protagonist Zuri (Dash Melrose) as an affectionate older brother, with seemingly nothing to his name than his trusty bike, an old, beat up backpack, and the weight of the world on his shoulders and the love he has for his baby brother. We aren’t privy to all the circumstances surrounding these two boys, but it is clearly not a good place to be. One escapes into the world of video games, and the other taking on more responsibility than his age should allow. Every action taken after this, is done out of protective brotherly love, and done at the hands of an innocent forced to take steps down a murky path to ensure their survival.
Brian Lawes takes us through this young boy’s harrowing journey to feed his brother, as he gets caught up into a tangled web of his own weaving. The sounds of everyday life underscore the reality of what this young boy must face on a day to day journey to survival. The quiet of the world juxtaposes the loud noise of living life on the edge, one heart-pounding moment at a time. Breaking into an affluent neighbourhood home was a crime born out of need, and in the ensuing scramble we can see the desperate scramble to make this violation quick and only take what he needs from the kitchen.
The problem arises when this young boy, now finding himself in a world so opposite to his own, lets his curiosity get the best of him. He is still a young child at heart, and curiosity is often the strongest motivation for impulse decisions at that age. Giving in to this base need and dropping his pack full of his acquired treasures, he suddenly finds himself trapped in the home he was stealing from, and thus begins a distressing game of cat and mouse, as he evades capture. Tension rises when the cops arrive at the house and he has to make his way out, but he still needs to make his way to the forgotten burden full of the food he needs for his brother.
Does he make an escape? We urge you to watch this beautiful film to find out.
This topical film has been selected to premiere at the Oscar qualifying Calgary International Film Festival, followed by Edmonton International Film Festival and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Lost Kings, won the grant support of the Community Builders Grant, the OVAC Artist Grant, and was made possible by the support of a Jury Award prize for his previous film, Rock Paper Scissors.
Brian Lawes is an American film director, writer and producer who is known for Lost Kings (2020), Rock Paper Scissors (2018), and Temp (2017). His films have played at numerous high profile film festivals across the world, earning multiple jury awards, with notable premieres at Oscar Qualifying festivals like Cleveland International Film Festival and Indy Shorts International Film Festival.
Producer Amanda Hyden’s talents have taken her into the Dallas and Los Angeles markets where she has worked on projects with Discovery, Pepsi, Google, Footlocker and Gatorade. Experienced at managing multimillion-dollar projects that span all across the globe, Amanda knows how to get a production completed on time, within budget and with excellence. A frequent collaborator of the team, she continually brings efficiency and professionalism to everything, she is involved in.
A beautifully shot film, with superb acting, direction and a story that will melt your heart!
Lost Kings will screen at Calgary International Film Festival from 23rd September to October 4th, Edmonton International Film Festival from October 1st-10th and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival from October 14th-18th.