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By Alan Ng | January 18, 2023

Teachers deserve a great deal of credit, but their work is always left unappreciated. Their job goes far beyond the hour-long class period each day. Film Threat Award This! Winner Hisonni Mustafa tells the story of one such teacher on the front line to save a troubled student in his short film, Triggered.

Donte (Eduardo Robinson) is a devoted high school teacher who is caught between his affection for his students and the need to provide the proper lifestyle for his fiancée, Rita (Adriane McLean), and her affluent father. Donte has a nightmare about one of his students, Mario (Kenyon Surney). Mario is a kid with great potential, if not for troubles outside of Donte’s classroom.

Just before heading out to Rita’s father’s birthday party, Donte gets word that Mario is missing, which doesn’t bode well considering the dream. So, with Rita’s approval, Donte heads out with Mario’s mother, Emma (Shante Deloach), to track down her son. Let’s say for Donte, this will be the longest, most awkward ride of his life.

“Donte has a nightmare about one of his students…”

From the moment I was introduced to Hisonni Mustafa, he impressed me with his ability to tell dramatic, thrilling stories with the perfect accent of humor. The bulk of the drama takes place in the car with devoted teacher Donte and lackadaisical mother Emma. The contrast between the two regarding their devotion to Mario is the heart of Triggered. And, oh, that ending is not to be missed.

Eduardo Robinson is brilliant as Donte. Shante Deloach, as Emma, finds that right balance between presenting herself as a less-than-perfect parent and the right level of likability to keep the audience engaged.

As always, Mustafa produced a good-looking, professional short in Triggered. His work improves in both looks at storytelling, film after film after film. His story of positivity set against a gritty backdrop is just the right amount of hope we all need at this time.

For screening information about Triggered, visit Hisonni Mustafa’s official website

Triggered (2023)

Directed: Hisonni Mustafa

Written: Hisonni Mustafa, Eduardo Robinson

Starring: Eduardo Robinson, Shante Deloach, Kenyon Surney, Adriane McLean, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

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"…a good-looking, professional short..."

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