Jameson Cinefest 2016. Review of “Hold On” by Charlotte Scott-Wilson

Cutting and visceral. That is what „Hold On”, Scottish director Charlotte Scott-Wilson’s second short film is. The winner of the Best Narrative Short at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, „Hold On” follows Kyra, a young talented cellist who develops stage fright after one of her strings breaks during an important concert.

In a highly dynamic, bold and inventive manner, Scott-Wilson makes a strong statement and sends a powerful message to the classical music community, encouraging musicians not to fear their feelings – be it good or bad – and „embrace” them instead of numbing them. After all, fear is natural and what makes us human. In that sense, „Hold On” strikes a chord in its depiction of Kyra as a human being and by contrasting her to her fellow musicians who are portayed like emotionless robots. Generally speaking, this robotic feature might appear contradictory as music is meant to awaken emotions in us and not transform us into machines. The fear and pressure of failure is what ends up driving these professional musicians and not music. And, that is precisley what Scott-Wilson criticizes here. Not only does she denounce this but also its consequences in the form of performance anxiety that leads to addiction, as research has proven that many musicians use Beta Blockers to calm their nerves…

Scott-Wilson’s vision is skillfully executed thanks to the powerful turn of the leading lady Charlie Chan Dagelet, Jesper Ankarfeldt’s vigorous score and the attractive and snappy lensing by the talented DoP Lennart Verstegen. Added to Scott-Wilson’s confident directing, these fine attributes contribute to the absolute technical and thematic harmony of the short.

Compelling and with exquisitly tightened strings, „Hold On” is a gem that displays Charlotte Scott-Wilson’s more than evident filmmaking talent.




O.T.: “Houvast”

Production: OAK Motion Pictures, Trent (The Netherlands 2016)

Director: Charlotte Scott-Wilson

Screenplay: Charlotte Scott-Wilson and Marielot van der Slikke

Cinematography: Lennart Verstegen

Music: Jesper Ankarfeldt

Production Design: Romke Faber

Costume design: Maxa van Panhuys

Editing: Annelotte Medema


Cast: Charlie Chan Dagelet, Roeland Fernhout and Lidewij Mahler

Color – 22 min.

Premiere: 16/04/2016 (Tribeca Film Festival)

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