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Vir Srinivas has me converted!

David Black reviews Vir Srinivas' short film, "The Proselyte"

The Proselyte is a 20 minute short that was made in 2021, in between lockdowns by Vir Srinivas. It is his graduate film for the Sydney Film School and has already won "Best Drama" at the Perth Independent Film Festival.

The film is described as "A Catholic priest with a dark past wrestles with his faith after he hears a confession from an active serial killer," so you just know that this is going to be dark film.

The mood is set immediately through the use of bright lighting and dark shadows. It creates

such a gritty feel on the face of the priest that I was surprised when Vir told me that there

hadn't been a make up artist. It has a very powerful and foreboding start in a claustrophobic


The cinematography is crisp, the choice of camera angles is well chosen and the editing is smooth.

It is a cut above what one would expect from a student film. There is a moody, broody suspense

permeating this film. Although this film is contemporary and in colour, I believe that it will

appeal to those who are fans of film noir. The soundtrack certainly has moments that would

sit right in place in a 1950's film.

Richard Cotter plays the priest in this film and is certainly convincing. He reminds me a bit of

Father Merrin in The Exorcist, so that had me on the edge of my seat expecting all sorts of terrible

things. There are some unexpected twists as this film progresses.

David Nicoll plays the detective and also does a good job. Arman Von Shok seems truly remorseful as The Evening Butcher. I really hope that this is a case of very good acting because he scared the absolute crap out of me. The film itself is not without its flaws but these are very few. All up, the whole cast and crew have done an amazing job. I would suggest keeping an eye out for future projects from Vir Srinivas, as this is excellent work from a new, emerging film maker.

You can watch the film here -

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