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The Independent Critic

Karl Kennedy-Williams, Judson Vaughan, Julie Rose Smith, Paul Coster, Harriet Madeley, Faith Elizabeth, Bhasker Patel, Christian Dapp
Richard Anthony Dunford
87 Mins.

 "Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours" Continues on Fest Circuit 
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Having premiered this past November at London's Princess Anne Theatre, writer/director Richard Anthony Dunford's no-budget indie crime drama Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours continues on its festival run and should have no problem continuing its fest success largely on the strength of compelling lead performances by Karl Kennedy-Williams and Judson Vaughan as a pair of ambitious street cops whose personal lives are in more than a little disarray and whose being passed over for a detective promotion leaves both men in even more dire straits and with even more determination to right what they perceive as a wrong. 

Kennedy-Williams is Frankie Mills, who joined the force with a shady past and seems pre-disposed to only getting shadier with a little more authority to his name. He's proven to be a good cop, though, and it's maybe a little surprising when not getting the promotion leads him down a path that seems to bring back his old demons. 

On the flip side, Vaughan is Parker Lyle, a family man with an alcohol problem and a marriage that seems alright on the surface but clearly has some issues. He seems to be the cleaner cop of the two, but demons are demons and the inherent sneakiness involved in having a drinking problem on the force makes him an ideal candidate to pull off the tasks requiring a bit more discretion than Frankie can offer. 

Antony Meadley's lensing is pristine and impactful throughout, while Conor O'Brien's original score is dramatic and pulsating in all the perfect ways to build the drama and tension the story requires. 

Both Kennedy-Williams and Vaughan are incredibly strong here, embodying both duty and desperation with equal vigor and zest without ever allowing their characters to turn into caricatures. The rest of the ensemble cast is also quite effective, most notably Julie Rose Smith as Brooke and Paul Coster's turn as Hyde. 

Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours has already screened at a couple dozen indie fests and picked up over a dozen awards along the way, a surefire sign that audiences are resonating with Dunford's top notch storytelling and his cast's ability to bring that story to life despite the inherent challenges of working on a no-budget production. This is a passion project that feels like it was made with an awful lot of passion. 

For more information on Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours, visit the film's website linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic