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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Anna Christopher
Alia Shawkat, Alex Frost
Running Time
22 Mins.


 "Queen of Cactus Cove" Review 
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"Queen of Cactus Cove" gave "Shade" a run for its money at the 2006 Heartland Film Festival and was undoubtedly a true crowd-pleaser. The 22-minute short film stars Alia Shawkat ("Arrested Development") as a teenage chess champion facing the prospect of losing for the first time when she faces her best friend in the championship of her biggest chess tournament. The film co-stars Alex Frost ("Elephant"), and it is the chemistry of Shawkat and Frost that is key to the film's success.

"Queen of Cactus Cove" is quirky, charming and utterly delightful with director Anna Christopher delivering one of 2006's most emotionally resonant short films.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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