Available in our featured line up is the charmingly romantic short film Bus Stop from writer/director Jamie Sims.
The story follows newly fired Henry and newly dumped Alexa, played with impressive passion and vulnerability by Sam Underwood and Valorie Curry respectively. A chance encounter at the titular bus stop leads to an unlikely connection being struck between the two strangers and Henry and Alexa are swept along on an impromptu tour of the city where a burgeoning friendship begins to blossom - until reality rears its ugly head.
With so many sub par romantic stories gracing the big and small screen, it is easy to forget how difficult a genre this is to do well. We should all be thankful then that Jamie Sims has not only constructed a well-paced and relatable story with moments and dialogue that are by turns witty and touching, but he has anchored his film in the fine performances of the impossible-to-dislike Underwood and Curry.
From the first awkward moments of their meeting, investing in the next few hours of Henry and Alexa's lives is not only easy, it's inescapable. We innately root for that relationship to blossom in amongst the promise of their lives turning around and the pitfalls that inevitably come their way. While you may see familiar elements of the traditional love story here, Sims manages to skillfully avoid the normal tropes that tell us when and what to feel and how the story will end.