Hungarian writer and director Kristof Deak’s short film “Sing” has been short-listed for the Academy Awards this year and with good reason. This beautifully poignant film creates a rich and multi-layered story that captures your heart and gives you hope in our youth and community. This short film has already accumulated numerous awards such as the People’s Choice Award at TIFF Kids Toronto and the Best Live Action Short Film Award at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival to name just a couple. WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
The story revolves around newcomer Zsofi who is excited to attend her new school that has a choir. Fitting in to an established school-setting, no matter what country you’re in, can be intimidating, but Zsofi immediately connects with Liza, the star singer within the choir. Zsofi is quickly and quietly singled out by the choir leader Miss Erika who tells her to just pantomime because she’s just not good enough. Heartbreaking though it may seem, Zsofi trudges forward, but the secret may be more than she can bear by herself. The solution is unexpected and absolutely heartwarming. To say more would take away your joy in watching how our youth has moral character and resiliency.
In just 25 minutes, “Sing” finds a simple yet extraordinarily deep and meaningful story to tell. One that will resonate not only with the main characters’ ages, but with adults as well. Zsofi must confront her own issues of value, worth, and ambition much like we all do on a daily basis. Dorka Gasparfalvi gives us a natural and sublime performance as Zsofi. Her internal emotional roller coaster is never too heavy-handed, but is easily understood. The subtleties within her portrayal are what bring that needed sense of genuineness to the film. While she and Dorka Hais (Liza) create a beautiful and realistic childhood friendship, it is their chemistry as friends that warm your heart. Walking and talking as they go home from school, hanging together as they listen to music, it is this interaction that solidifies their willingness to go to any lengths to protect one another. This ensemble cast is small, but powerful, stitched together with the gorgeous Zsofia Szamosi (Miss Erika) who betrays your eyes with the harshness that lies beneath.
“Sing” offers inspiration, love, and the hope for solidarity, helping one another and putting the goal of what’s right ahead of what’s expected. Beautiful filming, concise editing, and a gorgeous yet understated script allow the story to truly shine. Deak creates a melodic message that will keep you mesmerized and perhaps allow you to remember to put the greater good at the forefront of your decisions.
After seeing hundreds of films each year, “Sing” is one that deserves the Academy’s recognition.