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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Kurt Kuenne
TJ Thyne
Running Time
16 Mins.

 "Validation" Review 
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I've seldom, if ever agreed with Heartland Grand Prize winners, but when "Validation" captured the Best Short Grand Prize at the 2007 Heartland Film Festival this paraplegic nearly stood and applauded. As written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and composer Kurt Kuenne, "Validation" is a delightful, funny, sweet and inspiring film that will make you laugh and cry in the film's short span of 16 minutes.

The action centers on Hugh Newman (T.J. Thyne), a parking lot attendant who hands out real-life validation along with free parking. "Validation" has the sort of storyline that has you tapping your forehead thinking "Why couldn't I think of that?" It's amazingly simple, yet original, fresh and and entertaining.

The award-winning film is perfectly cast, most notably the awesome performance of T.J. Thyne as Hugh Newman. Vicki Davis also shines as a frowning DMV photographer who captures Hugh's attention.

The B&W short is beautifully photographed and Kuenne's score is a perfect complement to the film's gently off-kilter proceedings.

Easily one of 2007's most delightful shorts, all I can say to Kurt Kuenne is "You are great. No, really. You are so talented and your camera work is beautiful. Your words inspired me and made me laugh. Your music is delightful. You're awesome."

    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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