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Set in the near future, a thirteen-year-old girl plays a deadly game of cat and mouse in a world where overpopulation has caused for a desperate law that forces citizens to kill their designated ‘Soulmate’.
"Soulmate" by Nik Kacevski
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Thirteen-year-old Mila Malinov wakes up alone in the back of a cab. Arriving at the densely packed apartment block of zone 21, she makes her way to her room as the watchful eye of the global government hovers above in the form of monitor drones.
Across the courtyard, another set of eyes watches her, a protective Mother. Her room is small, cubed, and very simplistic. In her ear, a voice keeps her company. Her father, Darko Malinov checks in. He speaks to her through an earpiece making sure she’s okay.
The next day, Mila visits the local bartering station that’s at the end of the long alley that hugs her apartment block. Currency in this world has resorted back to bartering, swapping items for other items. Mila finds a group of interested buyers and swaps a capacitor for some food, all while her father guides her. That night, she shares a meal with her father via voice, wishing that he was there instead. As Mila sleeps, a figure sneaks up to her door making Mila nervous.
The next day, Mila maintains her routine, heading through the same alley and back to the bartering station. This time, she runs into the Mother from earlier. The two stare each other down. Mila rushes off uncomfortably, but not before the Mother notices the earpiece in her ear. Her father prepares her for the next day reminding her to bring the bags of oranges.
As instructed, Mile steps outside again, this time a lot more nervous than before. She likes the idea of her father watching over her, but she must do this alone. At the end of the alleyway, the bartering station is gone. Packed up and removed. Having learned her routine, the Mother waits for Mila instead. She attacks her, removing her earpiece as Mila runs off with her bags of oranges in hand. In the rush, she trips and falls as the Mother catches up. She grabs Mila and holds onto her tightly. The Mother calls over her son who waits for Mila across the other side of the alley.
Pulling out a handgun, the Mother begs her son to get it over and done with and kill Mila. The boy can’t do it and freezes. Mila has other ideas. This entire thing was part of Mila’s plan… She snaps the Mother’s finger and pushes her knee into her nose breaking it immediately. She runs after the boy. The tables have turned.
Finding the boy hiding in a large concrete pipe, she throws him out and beats him down as a group of onlookers watch in fascination. Mila doesn’t stop until the boy’s face is pummelled in. She is victorious. The drones that hover above quickly descend and scan both the boy and Mila. They confirm that the boy is Mila’s designation and that she has successfully committed an act of balance, restoring her citizenship. She can now live life without fear.
Through the crowd, Mila sees her father. Finally, they can be together as they embrace. Behind them, the crowd cheers celebrating her victory as the Mother holds her dead son.
Starring Holly May Lewis
Written and Directed by Nik Kacevski
Producer: Christopher Seeto
DOP: Kieran Fowler NZCS ACS
Production Designer: Scott Bird APDG
Costume Designer: Cat de Lound
Film Editor: Kent Hau
Music Composer: Michael Lira
Visual Effects: Evan Whiteside
Sound Design: Unison Sound
Film Fixers Balkans (Bulgaria)
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