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The Independent Critic

Marsai Martin, Ava Acres, Emily Procter, Yvette Nicole Brown, Trevor Larcom, Theodore Barnes, Ashley Liao, Daniel Iturriaga, Christian Isaiah
Anya Adams
Keith Edie
9 Mins.

 "Lemonade Mafia" Screening at Seattle Shorts Film Festival 
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The world of citrus can be sour...

In the 9-minute short film Lemonade Mafia, Marsai Martin plays Kira, the "Don" of the local lemonade scene with a stand that emphasizes organic goodness at premium prices. She's pretty much cornered the market with the help of friends and family, but her stand gets threatened when Shantel (Ava Acres) shows up with the pink lemonade stand on 13th street that doesn't worry about anything fancy and isn't hesitant to serve up certain addictive substances like high fructose corn syrup. 

Let the war begin. 

A fun and family friendly comedy directed by Anya Adams, Lemonade Mafia has already had quite a bit of success on the film festival circuit with screenings at LA ShortsFest, Blue Whale Comedy Festival, Urban Film Festival, Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival and upcoming screenings at Seattle Shorts Film Festival (Nov. 11-13) and Santa Monica Black Film Festival (November 16-18).

The film soars on the sass and pizzazz of young Marsai Martin, whose performance here is confident and bold and just a lot of fun to watch. Martin is definitely one to be watched. The film at times brought to mind Melissa McCarthy's The Boss, though with an obviously much younger boss and not quite that film's edginess.

D.P. Skip McCraw's lensing is remarkably pristine and gives the film a bright, inspired look that fits perfectly with Martin's vibrant performance. Keith Edie's dialogue is hilariously age-appropriate yet never condescending.

While the film occasionally feels a bit slight and never quite moves beyond its one-note, the truth is at a mere 9-minute running time that one note works and will easily please those who catch the film on the festival circuit. For more information on the film, visit its official website or check out the Seattle Shorts website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic