Director Guy Davies’ Philophobia tells the story of Kai (Joshua Glenister), an aspiring writer and high school senior who can’t wait to leave his small English town.
His two closest friends are both destined to live out their lives going nowhere, as is his next door neighbor Emma (Grace Englert) – the girl he’s been pining for – and her boyfriend, the bully Kenner (Alexander Lincoln).
Kai’s teacher has just told him that his stories aren’t believable. He’s got to write what he knows and encourages him to go out and live a little, get “shat on from life,” he says. So, he takes that advice and, like most teens, does nothing with it. He and his pals are still goofing off, going to the “library” – AKA smoking weed on top are the library’s roof – and trying to make time with Emma.
The film, which screened at the San Diego Film Festival and recently won Best Global Cinema Award and the Litecoin Filmmaker Award, features a fantastic cast of young actors that are sure to make their mark. They embody teenage life; the highs and lows, the fear of not knowing where you’re headed and the plain joy of just goofing off. Glenister is wonderful, from beginning to end.
It’s beautifully shot and the story takes it beyond the normal coming-of-age film, but the slow pace bogs it down. It feels like the characters aren’t moving forward, they’re just running in place. Doing the same thing over and over, that is until the last 15 minutes or so when things rapidly change for one person. It’s quite an ending and pushes things farther than you would think, I just wish it had happened a bit sooner.