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The Independent Critic

Jillie Simon, Eric Roberts, Alex Emanuel
Jillie Simon, Thomas Simon
Jillie Simon (Story/Writer), Thomas Simon (Story)
20 Mins.

 Inspirational Short "Hungry" Picks Up Fest Awards 
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Jillie Simon (A Beautiful Mind) stars as a well-meaning teacher with a fear of speaking up in public, unless her students are involved, in the 20-minute short film Hungry, a feel-good short that has picked up 14 awards at 33 fests so far with a decidedly pro-kid message that is destined to be popular. 

In Hungry, Simon's Allison is an idealistic teacher whose concern about her students is amplified when she learns that a group of them have been impacted by recent federal cutbacks to the school lunch program. While Hungry has been on the festival circuit for quite a while, this is an issue that continues to grab the headlines as it seems we can barely go a week without hearing about another child denied their lunch because their lunch account is in arrears or there's been some other cutback for which the adults are responsible and the kids pay the price. 

While Allison has never been the overtly political type, her passion for her kids takes over when she comes face-to-face with the Congressman largely responsible for it all, Dennis Thicke (Eric Roberts). Before long, she learns there's a price to pay for speaking her mind yet she may very well also be on the way to learning that one person really can make a difference in the world. 

Hungry has picked up a slew of festival awards, a good number of them having to do with the film's undeniably inspirational message and overall feel-good tone. Simon has a bit of a Mary Steenburgen quality about her, her higher-pitched voice matching her character's unbridled enthusiasm and complete and utter sincerity. Eric Roberts also does a nice job as Congressman Thicke, a role he could probably do in his sleep, and Alex Emanuel shines as Zachary Lenare. 

Thomas Simon's original music fits the short quite nicely, while Alan Hostetter's lensing is warm yet vibrant. 

For more information on Hungry, visit the film's official Facebook page linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic