File Not Found (2022) [Women in Horror Month 2022] 

Recently widowed, Jenny holds on to the past with her wife with her all might. As things evolve and her illusion is in danger of changing, she is forced to face her own situation. 

Written and directed by Lindsay Bennett-Thompson, this longer short film clocks in at just under 20 minutes and makes the most of its limited runtime. The story here brings together love, grief, and technology in a careful and understanding manner. The film plays on some issues that could come from certain uses or overuses of technology, but does so in such a way that they are less important that the main issues of how to grieve a powerful love. Here, the film comes off a bit more on the scifi side of things, but there is much more than that going on and it all leads to a surprising development and a satisfying ending. The film is extremely well-written and directed in a caring, understanding manner that comes through on the screen. 

Playing the grieving lead of Jenny is Lucie Browne who is absolutely excellent. She is the central character and the heart of the film, making this all about her situation and her emotions. There are layers here to be peeled back to see how deep this performance goes and it’s fantastic to watch. Playing her wife is writer/director Lindsay Bennett-Thompson who is in an interesting part here as it repeats itself here and there, giving her an ethereal presence of sorts. Her work grounds that of Browne and they show great team work. Playing the other two characters are Rachael Hayden and Talli Lyndsey who also do great work, but for the sake of the film and its surprises, will not be discussed and left up to the viewers to discover. They both have impact on the story in very different, yet strong ways. 

Another aspect of the film that must be talked about is how it looks. That apartment they shot it in absolutely gorgeous and perfect for the film’s needs, the wardrobe, makeup, lighting, framing and cinematography in general, are all superb. The crew behind all of these were clearly very much on the same page as the director and gave their all to make this an expensive looking short film showcasing tons of talent on all fronts. 

File Not Found is a strong short film about grief, love, and technology. There is a whole lot to unpack in here, but as a film that is carefully written and directed with connected performances at its center, it’s a strong contender for best short film of year and we are only in March. The film is top notch on every single level, showing the importance of having the right team behind and in front of the cameras. 

File Not Found premieres next month at the London Independent Film Festival.