The Drop In | Directed by Naledi Jackson
Imagine you are completely immersed in your quotidian life doing your job and waiting to get back to your loved ones, and suddenly someone comes up masquerading as a regular client then in the next few moments you are confronting the obliviated past of yours which you had buried a long time ago. How horrific that would be? A person like me would faint in a matter of seconds. So, this is how this An Afrofuturist Action Drama starts. It is chilling, no?
The Drop In is a short film written and directed by Naledi Jackson. Born to South African and Canadian parents, she spent her childhood in Zimbabwe. Upon returning to Canada, she studied Fine Arts at Concordia University before pursuing a career in film and television. Her previous credits include screenwriter of the new CTV/ION detective show The Detail, as well as the second season of the Netflix horror anthology series, Slasher. Naledi, a recipient of grants from Bravofact, The Toronto Arts Council, and The Harold Greenberg Fund, is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada. Her debut at TIFF is spine-tingling.
Joelle is an entrepreneurial young woman working as a hairdresser in Toronto. But her forgotten past catches up to her one random evening when Grace, a new client, drops by her salon, leaving her with only one choice to confront her and come out as a triumphant to save her new identity. She fights with the “ghost from the past” and wins thus, her past remains buried as it is. The film is so fast paced that a viewer should put an extra effort to comprehend what is actually going on. Among all this development, there comes a startling revelation. Beyond that frightening face we get to see the trained assassin who does not hold back despite knowing how catastrophic this could be. In run time of just 13 minutes viewers experience action scenes nothing less than the ones in a big budget franchise film and they also sympathise with Joelle.
This work is kind of a homage to the refugees and undocumented immigrants who had to leave their home country to escape from the horrors of ongoing turmoil or to either survive or start a new life altogether. People like them must go through tormenting process of burying their past and moving forward with their new promising life. It also reflects director’s experience living in apartheid Africa. Given the genre of the movie, even if you are not a fan of short films you cannot afford to miss this. Whenever this is available online, do yourself a favor, watch it and that too multiple times.