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The Independent Critic

Mark Pinter
Randall Christopher
15 Mins.

 "The Driver is Red" Screens as Finalist at Inaugural Indy Shorts 
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It's not surprising that writer/director Randall Christopher's stellar 15-minute animated short film The Driver is Red has picked up a slew of awards along its festival journey. Mesmerizing both for its historical presentation and for its stylish, engaging animation, The Driver is Red is set in 1960 Argentina and tells the true story of secret agent Svi Aharoni as he hunts down one of the highest ranking Nazi war criminals who was on the run at the time. 

Using narration by Mark Pinter, Christopher has crafted an intelligent an involving short film that tackles a challenging story in a way that is suitable for most audiences. 

To say that The Driver is Red is an important, timely film is an understatement. As the director so vividly points out on the film's website, Hitler was democratically elected in 1933. 12 years later, over 50 million people were dead and the European continent in ruins. What seems almost impossible to even fathom again, at times feels that not far away in various places around the world including here in the U.S. 

There is no question that Christopher intends The Driver is Red to be more than simply a historical film, albeit a mighty fine one and beautifully constructed one. Indeed, the statement is vivid and clear and timely and necessary. 

The Driver is Red has picked up multiple awards at a variety of fests including Aspen ShortsFest (Jury Award for Best Doc, Audience Award), Cleveland International Film Festival (Best Animated Short Film), Miami Film Festival (Audience Award, Best Short Film), Montclair Film Festival (Audience Award, Short Film), Phoenix Film Festival (Best Animated Short), Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Best Animated Short), and Seattle International Film Festival (Special Jury Prize for both Doc Short and Animated Short). 

Spencer Rabin's original music complements the film quite nicely, while Christopher's own editing of the film is precise and aids in the film's build-up of suspense - this will be especially true for those unfamiliar with the story. 

The inaugural Indy Shorts is remarkably strong in the animation department in its first year and it'll be fun to watch and see which film takes home the top prize. The film is screening as part of the Finalist Shorts 2 Collection at the following times:

  • Friday, July 27th at 4:30pm in The Toby at Newfields
  • Saturday, July 28th at 3:45pm in The Toby at Newfields

For more information on Indy Shorts, visit the Indy Shorts website. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic