LOL (2013) – By Michael E. Smith

Written and directed by Lydia Esler, LOL is a short film full of transition and self-awareness. I also think it’s about appearances and their deception.

The film starts out with LOL a young girl who is with her Italian father at his luggage stall. The two are close and dad obviously enjoys his time with his daughter. Lol (played brilliantly by Nicole Papithis) misses her mother and has a very active imagination.

Everything about the two, seems normal and above board. But while sitting in the van, a police car goes by and Lol’s dad pushes her head below the window. Suddenly, the entire scenario changes and you are left wondering what is really going on here.

At just over thirteen minutes Esler manages to raise a lot of questions and show us the meaning behind the action. The film looks brilliant, which is not surprising as it was shot on Red at 2.35:1 aspect. The cinematography is crisp and clear and precise. The locations used for the film look real and not out of place and the cast all performed well.

The one performance who stands out in this film is young actress Nicole Paphitis. Playing Lol in the film appears to be her first foray into the film world and she sells it magnificently. Like a dark haired Dakota Fanning, she appears to be a natural with an incredible gift. I expect we’ll see a lot more of this young lady.

This is sure to be a festival favorite and if you want to know more about the film, the website is here –