David Bartlett’s MOUSIE uses art as a weapon of hope to survive

No matter how old you are, losing your loved ones is one of the worst feelings. Whatever the reason is, it is always hard. However, when it happens at a young age, when you need the support of your parents the most, it can be way harder. Especially, if it is because of war, terror and persecution. Director David Bartlett and producer Will Poole came together for the second time (after their first film “The Goodbye Plane”) to address this issue through MOUSIE.

A seven-year-old Roma Helene who has been separated from her mother to keep away from German concentration camps hides in a wardrobe, concealed by tap-dancer Katharina (CJ Johnson) who plans to take Helene to America – where everyone is welcome, no matter the colour of their skin. Despite the masks, uniforms and performances people use to wield power, a little mouse (Helene) uses art as a weapon of hope to survive and become Disney’s mousie.

The film stars Cj Johnson and Sasha Watson-Lobo. The child actor (Sasha Watson-Lobo) has done a fantastic job acting as Helene. She is the main character of the film and despite her age she portrays the struggles and emotions of children during the cleansing of Jews and Romani so well. The director of photography Paul Kirsop often uses close-up shots to support Sasha Watson-Lobo’s acting. It strengthens Helene’s desire to see the outside world; a dancing devil, a nervous stage-manager, an alcoholic “new age Nazi” comedian. 

MOUSIE has been nominated for 5 different categories at the Oxford International Short Film Festival in the UK (27th August – 4th September) including Best Film and Best Screenplay. The film screened at the Ireland Dublin International Film Festival, the Miami Jewish Film Festival and the Woods Hole Film Festival where it received the Best Youth Performance Award. It can also be seen at Dances With Films in Los Angeles (26th August – 12th September) and Arena Cinelounge (September 21st). Now, MOUSIE has been qualified to be considered for a 2021 Academy Award. We hope that you will enjoy this fantastic short film and find out if Helene becomes Disney’s mousie.

MOUSIE is an incredible heartwarming punch that packs a punch! It has qualified to be considered for the Oscars and fingers crossed it sails all the way there!

Margaret Brown


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