High Noon at Midnight, Directed by Travis Nicholson

This short film was being shown as part of RIFF (the Renegade Independent Film Festival) — a counterpoint to the Nashville Independent Film Festival (NIFF).

Shot in black and white, High Noon at Midnight tells a simple story about a boy coping with the loss of his grandmother. Rather than a heavy reliance on spoken words, the film tells its story through simple dialogue, beautiful photographs and a spare but complementary soundtrack. A nightmare scene is genuinely frightening, the climax delivers a perfect laugh and the resolution is warm-hearted, tender and quietly sad.

The young men who created this film deserve a great deal of praise. The film is so seamless and tasteful that it’s difficult to believe it was made by young film students and not a polished professional. It’s rare to see an amateur short film so pitch-perfect in every regard. Cast, location, story and direction all work beautifully together.