A timely and thought-provoking short written and directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Alexander Christenson. “A Phone Call From My Best Friend” follows a young woman named Madison who casually chats on the phone with her friend, Chrissy, while shopping for a dress. The mundane exchange takes a turn as the two struggle to talk about race with one seeking to reflect on unconscious prejudices and the other preferring to brush her concerns aside. As the director shared with us, the main intention behind the project is to challenge white silence and provoke necessary conversations, no matter how difficult:

“The starting point for me was a white character who observes herself having a racist thought, and what happens when she decides to not to ignore it. Reflecting on my own experiences as a white person, conversations like this are usually avoided. When they do happen, they so easily go off the rails. I wanted to show what this looks like, because I think the ways that racism perpetuates itself can often be extremely subtle or difficult to see. Furthermore, the affection we have for those we love can complicate things, resulting in the central issue getting swept under the rug. Scaled up, avoidant patterns like these create a massive barrier to progress.

For any white viewers, I would encourage you to record your inner reactions as you watch. What did you feel and when? Consider the characters. What do Chrissy and Madison want from each other? Where did things go wrong? Are they being truthful? Do you relate to them? Why or why not? Afterwards, consider sharing with a friend or family member.

My hope is that this film can serve as a tool to spark much needed conversations about racism. These are often difficult and messy, but making mistakes is okay. We don’t need to know everything. What’s important is that we stay engaged and don’t check out.”

Watch “A Phone Call From My Best Friend” above and see full credits below!

 

Starring
Celeste Arias
Auden Thornton
Emily van Raay

Director & Writer: Alexander Christenson
Producer: Jeff Spivack
Cinematographer: Michael Belcher
Casting Director: Dayna Katz
Co-Producer: Christopher Hawthorne
Co-Producer: Miriam Naggar
Production Manager: Will Dennis
Gaffer: Emma Penrose
Steadicam Operator: Lisa Sene
First Assistant Camera: Jeffrey David Schultz
First Assistant Camera: Steven Tong
Second Assistant Camera: Noah Broch
Key Grip: Jay Warrior
Production Sound Mixer: Lily Bernstein
Script Supervisor: Alan Klassen
Costume Designer: Rachel Dainer-Best
Makeup Artist: Mary Chipman
Art Department Assistant: Persia Beheshti
Production Assistant: David Perez
Editor: Alexander Christenson
Sound Mixer: Calvin Pia
Additional Compositing: Herculano Fernandes
Color Services: Nice Shoes
Colorist: Sal Malfitano
Color Producer: Andrew Pandolfino
Color Producer: Elizabeth Mitchell
Produced in association with Thinkmad, Northbound, and Gigantic Pictures

 

This video was submitted by Alexander Christenson and selected by our team. Click here if you have a project you’d like us to check out!

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