Small Time

Directed by Niav Conty
U.S. | 2020 | Narrative
104 minutes | English

New Filmmakers Forum Emerging Director Award (The Bobbie). “Small Time” takes an empathetic and at times darkly humorous look at life, faith, and childhood. Though just a kid, Emma navigates a dysfunctional adult world of relentless addiction, stubborn patriotism, dogmatic faith, and the pervasive sexualization of young girls. Her challenge is to emerge with a sense of self. It can be brutal enough just growing up a girl, but when you add poverty, addiction, and God to the mix, it’s no wonder that Emma doesn’t know how to make friends. With a gun in her bag and fairy prayers on her tongue, she and her cat bravely go where too many girls have gone before. But are innocence and hope enough to save the day? The (San Jose) Mercury News writes: “There’s nothing small about the talent in this mighty feature from screenwriter/director Niav Conty, who is an astute observer of the human condition. She expands on her own short film to tell a harrowing, all-too real story about a young girl named Emma (Audrey Grace Marshall; you’ll fall in love with her) who is shuttled around rural Pennsylvania due to her parents’ battles with meth addiction and PTSD. Through it all, Emma retains her positivity.”