Nepotism, Baby! Image

Nepotism, Baby!

By Jason Delgado | June 23, 2024

PALM SPRINGS SHORTFEST 2024 REVIEW! Nepotism in Hollywood has been a hot topic online in recent times. Writer/director Tij Doyen strikes while the iron is hot with the satiric short film Nepotism, Baby!. The movie centers on a young woman named Council (Betsey Brown) who has been trying to make it as an actress but to no avail, even though she does have a famous mother, played by Penny Balfour. Council goes to an audition and lays her heart on the line in a passionate read-through, only to be stopped mid-sentence and told they’ve seen enough. She hides in the hallway while the people who run the audition make fun of her.

Next is a funny scene where Council lists off all her amazing qualities but qualifies it by saying that in the grand scheme of things, even though it seems she has everything, she truly has nothing. She violently (and comically) screams to the heavens that it is so sad being hot means nothing in the year 2023.

“…a young woman trying to make it as an actress but to no avail despite having a famous mother…”

Nepotism, Baby! hints at something even more when Council reveals her love of public arson. Then, while watching an old movie, she gets the idea of a twisted plan, suggesting that it is a divine intervention. Council pays a random food delivery man (Gus Hermoza) to make a video of her hip-hop dancing, then pleading for help in her underwear and tied to a chair with a hood over her face. Afterward, she confidently states out loud that she’s a good actress, while the delivery guy stiffly agrees.

She then hits herself violently in the head with an Academy Award that her mother won, causing blood to gush all over her face. For her next performance, Council wears a full-body, face-covering black dominatrix outfit and runs through the streets like a madwoman. She then buries herself in the Subway, is rescued, and finally receives the adulation and attention she’s been craving her entire life. The look on her face is priceless, while she delivers a humorous post-script monologue with opera music in the background to accentuate the craziness.

Nepotism, Baby! is a funny satire that is dead on when it comes to the lengths that some will go to for fame. Betsey Brown is brilliant as the unhinged woman, and filmmaker Tij Doyen masterfully highlights the absurdity through humor.

Nepotism, Baby! screened at the 2024 Palm Springs Shortfest.

Nepotism, Baby! (2024)

Directed and Written: Tij Doyen

Starring: Betsey Brown, Penny Balfour, Gus Hermoza, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Nepotism, Baby! Image

"…dead on when it comes to the lengths that some will go to for fame."

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