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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Mark Albiston, Louis Sutherland
Oscar Vandy-Connor
Running Time
15 Mins.

 "The Six Dollar Fifty Man" Review 
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Absolutely freakin' brilliant.

What else can be said about The Six Dollar Fifty Man, a marvelous 15-minute short co-written and directed by Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland? 

In the second example of New Zealand's growing filmmaking community during the 2010 HollyShorts Film Festival, The Six Dollar Fifty Man is a wonderfully entertaining and touching film that centers around 8-year-old Andy (Oscar Vandy-Connor), who is forced to break out of his make-believe superhero in order to deal with playground bullies.

Albiston and Sutherland perfectly capture all the innocence, wonder and bravado of life as a pre-tween when you don't quite qualify as "normal," but it is the convincing and disciplined performance of young Oscar Vandy-Connor that really drives this gem of a film home. Vandy-Connor exudes the quiet determination of a young boy who has been pushed around one too many times and simply decides he isn't going to take it anymore. Watching this young actor's face as he transitions from victim to victor is absolutely priceless, a look of triumphant empowerment seemingly overcoming his entire body.

The camera work by Simon Baumfield is stellar, avoiding any gratuitous shots and instead focusing on the psychic shift that young Andy experiences in the short span of 15 minutes.

The Six Dollar Fifty Man is that rare film that manages to capture the childhood experience with dignity rather than condescension. Already having won prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival and others, The Six Dollar Fifty Man is currently playing as an official selection at the 2010 HollyShorts Film Festival.