No matter how different we all are, what we love, and what goals we want to achieve in the future, we want the same thing. Being loved by someone with who we can spend our days. Sam is no different but sadly, he’s been treated differently because he has Down-syndrome. Finding love and declaring your feelings to someone while living with Down-syndrome are fascinating topics in “S.A.M.”, the latest short movie from writers/director Neil Ely and Lloyd Eyre-Morgan. Those import topics result in a beautiful, heartbreaking, and important feature.
Sam (George Webster) has Down-syndrome but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming. He wants to go to a dance school after graduating. While he’s enjoying the time with his friends, he’s keeping a secret from them. He’s in love with another Sam (Sam Retford), who’s always playing on a swing in a park near him. One day, Sam overcomes his disability and dares to go up to Sam. They start to spend much time together and one day, Sam declares his love for the other Sam. What happens afterwards is totally unexpected.
The two writers/directors collaborated on multiple critically acclaimed short films such as “3 in a Bed” and “Kill Pill”. Ely has already worked with people with disabilities so it’s always great to see that disabled people get a chance to shine in a movie and especially when it involves a love story. The important heightens even more when you know that only 0.3% of the television and film industry cast and crew have a disability.
Some of the reasons why this movie are the leading performances from Webster and Retford. S.A.M is Webster’s debut and what a wonderful debut it. He brings the emotions, flair, and charming element to this movie. It feels like he shows us the wonderful but also the sombre moments in his life by guiding us through his world. Opposite him, we see Retford as Sam, the teenager who’s going through a rough time at home, especially because his parents are absent. However, underneath the hard bolster, there’s also a lot of love, doubts, and affection. Retford portrays all those characteristics in a captivating way in a beautiful movie which is also his film debut.
Another reason why this movie feels very life-like is the way it was created. The cinematography provided by Mat Johns (“The Box”, “Sybil “) and the editing from Lloyd Eyre-Morgan create a smooth vibe around this movie. The story is being told like we’re there with the leading characters and experience what they’re going through. No unnecessary cuts, no special effects, and just a very vibrant impression are all that this film needs to become extremely fabulous.
After being part of the BFI Flare 2020 programme, S.A.M will now be screened during other film festivals such as the Outfest film festival and Inside Out film festival. Whether you’re able to see it on the big screen or a smaller one, its beautifulness, delightfulness, and emotional elements will charm you in every way possible.
Liselotte Vanophem, Just Celebrity Magazine