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The Independent Critic

Bryce Hirschberg, Annie Newton, Julie Simone, Bridget Avildsen, Noel Castellanos, Barret Hirschberg, Jim Hirschberg, Nick Huebner, Taylor Lockwood, Robert McEveety
Bryce Hirschberg
73 Mins.

 "Counterfeiters" is the Real Deal  
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With my apologies up front to the rest of the cast and crew, there's simply no denying that the 73-minute indie action/thriller Counterfeiters is the Bryce Hirschberg show. 

Hirschberg writes, directs, produces, edits and stars in this uncommonly satisfying low-budget thriller that was put together on an estimated $8,000 yet manages to look and feel like a more mid-range indie thanks to Hirschberg's intelligent script, satisfying performance and realistic direction that keeps the film from ever becoming overly ambitious or, adversely, too timid. 

The film tells the story of Bridger (Hirschberg), who creates a "do-it-yourself" method of counterfeiting money in an effort to save his dying mother (Julie Simone). More successful than he ever expected, Bridger begins to learn that when you start making more money than you ever needed you also begin to never know who you can really trust. 

Counterfeiters has already screened at over a dozen indie fests and picked up a handful of awards at Frostbite International Film Festival (Best Feature Film), Marina del Rey Film Festival (Audience Award, Feature Film), Oniros Film Awards (July 2017 - Best Actor, Hirschberg), and Wolves Independent International Film Awards (Best Feature Narrative). The film has also had quite a bit of success at such well known indie fests as Action on Film and Los Angeles Cinefest among others. 

Only finished in June 2017, Counterfeiters was a definite real indie with Hirschberg doing much of the work and recruiting friends, peers, family and connections to fill out must of the cast and crew. Co-producer David Klassen lenses the film quite remarkably, especially given the film's financial constraints but regardless of that fact his work is top notch here. While it seems like Hirschberg does it all, the truth is he's assembled a fine ensemble cast in pulling off a difficult genre to do convincingly on a low budget as most of those studio action flicks are filled with costly special effects, visual effects and ample editing. 

On $8,000? Nope. What you see is what you get and what you get here is a clear sign that Hirschberg is a creative voice to be reckoned with. 

Can someone give him more money please?

While I'll admit that the film's ending felt more like going out with a whimper than a bang, it couldn't possibly undo the quality work already done and it's no surprise to see that Counterfeiters is blowing up the indie fest circuit. While Bridger may be a counterfeiter, Bryce Hirschberg is the real deal. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic