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 "I'm here to make your job   reassignment as painless as possible" 

Terminal - Short Scifi

Added 22nd March 2019

Review by: Jane Alexandra Foster


Released in 2018 (Runtime 27 minutes)



Set in a dystopian, inner city future, Terminal is about a society based on equality for everyone. To achieve this, no one has any say about their job assignments, but everyone has equal opportunities and is guaranteed a job. However, no one has choice over what job they do, or where they are assigned, which causes heartbreak and pain for one woman, and she begs her friend for help. 

Utopia comes at a price

Made on location, by an up and coming team of creative talent, Terminal is an interesting, well made short film. Given the length, it’s likely that this team are angling for the budget for a feature next time, and with this achievement, they deserve it.


The story line engages and plays with the central dramatic conflicts about equality versus bias, uniformity versus individuality, and oppression versus expression, very well, due to the strong script by Max Gee. The framing and lens choices are good, as is the production design by Natalie Roe, both which provide a great theatrical style back drop. Theatrical in nature too, the pace is slow and there’s not a lot of movement. However, this somehow fits with the claustrophobic nature of the piece.

With good performances by Michaela Longden, Samantha Mesagno and Jason Deer in the main roles, the story pulls the audience in, but it could’ve been more cohesive. Perhaps one more draft would have made the drama flow better, and might’ve resulted in stronger, more layered performances. Unevenness also often happens when crew members ‘wear’ too many hats. Clearly, this was a film all about the acting and the dramatic story, and it might well have been better for director Cal O’Connell to just concentrate on directing, rather than be stretched by filming too. That said, his camera and editing are good. This is also a film where the sound is fine, but could’ve been stronger, to match the evocative score by Benjamin Symons.

However, these are smallish issues. Terminal is a fine film which will provoke debate and interest. Ideal as a warm up to a main film on a Saturday night in.



Starring: Michaela Longden, Samantha Mesagno, Jason Deer, Natalie-Clare Brimicombe, Leanne Levi Rivers, Tom Barry

Director: Cal O'Connell

Terminal won BEST SHORT FILM at the 2019 STARBURST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, watch this space for further information, catch it on the big screen if you get the chance.

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