Sonshine Image


By Bobby LePire | December 21, 2023

Sonshine is writer-director Corey Podell’s fourth short film. The story follows a sixth-grade boy (Yonas Kibreab), an emotionally unbalanced kid starting summer. Unfortunately, instead of having fun, he has to go to summer school. But things look up when the kid is invited to a party that night hosted by the Shaprio twins. This is a dream come true, but there’s one hitch: the party is in Malibu.

To get there, the boy walks all over, contacting everyone he can think of. His mom’s boyfriend, Todd (David Futernick), is out looking for him, as the little one blew up on him earlier that day. Will the sixth-grader make it to the party? Or has he disillusioned everyone around him?

“…things look up when the kid is invited to a party that night hosted by the Shaprio twins.”

The fact that the main character is difficult to like or understand is the point of Sonshine. The film observes what sets him off and the few things that calm him down. The result proves to be heartwarming and sweet, but it can be challenging to get there if one isn’t prepared for what precedes the final minute or two.

Kibreab excels at portraying the anger always brimming inside. But when he calms down, he plays the more tender moments with authenticity. Futernick shares good chemistry with Kibreab, bringing depth to a character with only a few scenes.

Sonshine is an impressively mounted short with great cinematography. The lead performs his young heart out in a highly complex role. He’s surrounded by a strong supporting cast, especially Futernick. Yes, the main character’s arc is not evident until the very end, but it hits hard and absolutely works.

Sonshine (2023)

Directed and Written: Corey Podell

Starring: Yonas Kibreab, David Futernick, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Sonshine Image

"…impressively mounted..."

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