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The Independent Critic

Frances Brennand Roper, Jeff Locker, Gregory Shelby, Aleckx Bohdi
Nicole Jones-Dion
Jeff Locker
9 Mins.

 "Scars" Has World Premiere at Dances with Films 
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Having its world premiere this very evening at Dances with Films, Scars is the latest film from Nicole Jones-Dion and one can't help but look for the film to prove quite successful on its indie fest circuit run. 

The film is a short psychological thriller starring Frances Brennand Roper and Jeff Locker that offers an unsettling, unforgettable look into the world of mental illness through the lens of its main character, Lucy (Roper). In the film, Lucy awakens in psych ward isolation finding a mysterious stranger (Locker) in her room. As she struggles to figure out the mysterious visitor's identity, she uncovers that he has  dark secret himself and it's a secret that may very well bind the two together. 

Scars is a deeply personal, intimate film that sort of throttles your senses courtesy of rather remarkable performances from its co-leads, the absolutely mesmerizing Frances Brennand Roper and the fierce, penetrating Locker. Locker also penned the film's script, though the film is noteworthy for not only having a female director and strong female lead, but it also has an entirely female producing team and features the work of award-winning female cinematographer Rachel Wynn Dunn. 

As mesmerizing are the performances here, one can't mention the success of the film without mentioning its absolutely stellar production values including the lensing by Rachel Wynn Dunn, which is stark and intimate and unnerving, and an original score by acclaimed composer Harry Manfredini that soothes and jars and jolts and pierces. 

On both writing and starring in “Scars,” Locker says, "I wanted to write a piece with a strong mental health angle to initiate a conversation around the concept that we all have our demons and that they're somehow out to destroy us. Ultimately, our demons are just an interpretation of our pain, and only when we learn to accept that pain has a right to exist and understand what it's trying to tell us will we ever find ourselves on a path towards better mental health." 

While Locker's vision for the script is ambitious, Jones-Dion brings it all beautifully to life with a sort of emotional ferociousness that practically leaves you breathless over the course of the film's nine-minute running time. 

Indeed, Scars is a film you're going to want to catch if you get a chance. It's one you won't forget and destined to be one of the highlights from this year's Dances with Films. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic