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The Independent Critic

Mary Holgate
Kate Lefoe
7 Mins.

 Award-winning short "Somersault Pike" a Vimeo Staff Pick 
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You could be forgiven for thinking you've stumbled upon a sci-fi short when you hear the first notes of Livia Ruzic and Ant Bohun's original sound design for Kate Lefoe's excellent Somersault Pike. 

It's not the music, per se, though certainly music is an element of the film's effective, immersive sound design. It's the overall environment created by the sound design, a design that envelopes the film's young diver, played to steely perfection by Mary Holgate, a competitive diver facing down her darkest fears and highest ambitions as she works to conquer the 10 meter platform. 

The story behind Somersault Pike isn't a complicated one, but it doesn't need to be one. What is complicated, and brought beautifully to life, is the complexity of thought and emotion behind Holgate's nameless diver, a young woman whose silent preparations involve as much gymnastics as they do physical actions. From the film's opening moments, you're completely fixed upon this young woman, not quite knowing if her darkest fears come from an intimate place of life experience or reflect the overwhelming anxieties of many divers as they face down one of diving's most challenging settings. 

Recently named a Vimeo Staff Pick, Somersault Pike picked up a slew of awards at a variety of festivals including Flickerfest (Best Editing), Melbourne International Film Festival (Best Editing), Wordless International Film Festival (Best Direction, Best Sound Design), Canberra Short Film Festival (Best Editing), Fleurieu Film Festival (Best Sound Design) and others. 

Supported by the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant and the VCA Jim Marks Scholarship, Somersault Pike may sound like it's all tech but rest assured that Holgate's physical discipline and Darrell Martin's intimate lensing work together, alongside Lefoe's strong direction, to create an emotionally involving story that needs no words yet speaks volumes. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic