Damon dreams of following in his late father’s footsteps. He wants to become a hockey player. He is gifted with a new pair of skates prior to a big tryout from his coach, but they come at the cost of bringing up feared childhood memories of sexual abuse. Damon has to decide what’s more important ¬– his dreams or his pride.

The 11-and-a-half minute short film, The Railpath Hero does the job of a dramatic short by swooping viewers into its story and then leaving them with a desire to know more.

Writer and director Laurie Townshend does a superb job of stitching music behind the various dark concrete settings. Together they mesh to represent the dark past Damon has had. The acting also stands out. The emotions played by young actor Stephan James are not only seen, but also felt. The story comes full circle once the phone call, which opened up the film, is answered. The credits then appear on screen leaving everything else unanswered.

Words By. Matthew Anness