For director Samuel Lucas Allen, it’s an honour to be part of the first full program of shorts in this year’s Jewish International Film Festival. Especially with Cut, a film of which he is incredibly proud.
“For me, as a Jewish person who has had a very complex relationship with my identity, it feels like a real milestone to see this community embrace this film,” he told The AJN.
“In writing Cut, I drew on my own experiences and those I observed and imagined around me growing up.”
Cut follows Daniel, a teenage boy, who finds himself caught in a web of lies and pulled in different directions by his best friend and burgeoning Neo-Nazi, his secret lover, and his Orthodox Jewish father.
According to Allen, this is reminiscent of the fact that while Australia likes to think of itself as a nation of tolerant larrikins, many people believe this to be a facade.
“If you scratch the surface, there is a lot going on that we would rather not talk about,” Allen said. “You come into contact with these things when you go to school, which is why it became the setting of this work.”
Allen also said that directing Cut gave him the opportunity to work with “dynamic young actors and a highly seasoned film crew”, explaining that everything happened straight after COVID so everyone was desperate to be part of something playful and creative.
Ultimately, Allen said, Cut is speaking directly to the community, allowing contradictory ideas to coexist in complex ways.
“It’s a piece for me that is born out of my own complexity and contradictory feelings, and I hope to share some of that feeling and some of the hope that I have found.”
Cut is part of the 2023 JIFF Shorts Program and will screen at Classic Cinemas on November 9. For tickets: jiff.com.au/films/2023-shorts