The Critic

World premiere at the 2018 Boston Film Festival, First Prize at Amazon’s inaugural 2019 All Voices Film Festival, Winner Best Director at the 2018 UK Film Review Awards and Best Short Film at the 2019 Method Fest, as well as Indie Shorts Mag's Editor's Pick - "The Best Of All, From 2018!". The Critic offers a glimpse into the darker side of fame, as a starry-eyed actress, fresh off a major win embarks on an interview that proves to be a lot more than just that.

  • Stella Velon
    Director
  • Stella Velon
    Writer
  • Jean Gabriel Kauss
    Producer
  • Stella Velon
    Key Cast
    "Actress"
    Baskets, Men in Black 3, Shutterbug
  • Alan Smyth
    Key Cast
    "Interviewer"
    Persons Unknown, Castle, Poor Behavior
  • Todd Karner
    Key Cast
    "Director"
  • Ivan Andrijanic
    Editor
    I.T. , No Way Jose
  • Akis Konstantakopoulos
    Cinematographer
    The Late Bloomer, Running for Grace
  • Asaf Sagiv
    Composer
    Drugged, Homefront, Last Summer
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Drama, Psychological, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 16, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Spyflix Film Festival | SPOTLIGHT SERIES
    New York
    United States
    Honorable Mention
  • The Webby Awards | NOMINEE
    New York
    United States
    May 19, 2020
    Best Individual Performance (Stella Velon)
  • Amazon Studios' All Voices Film Festival | WINNER
    Nationwide
    United States
    August 27, 2019
    Amazon Prime Video USA Premiere
    First Prize/Runner-Up Award
  • The W3 Awards | WINNER

    United States
    October 6, 2020
    Gold Award: Best Individual Performance (Stella Velon)
  • Festival Angaelica at Catalyst Content | WINNER
    Duluth
    United States
    October 11, 2019
    Minnesota Premiere
    Best Breakout Performance (Stella Velon)
  • Annual Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    July 14, 2019
    Palm Springs Premiere
    Grand Jury Prize 'Couronne d'Or'
  • Annual Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    July 14, 2019
    Palm Springs Premiere
    Best of Fest 'Queen Supreme' Award for Best First-Time Filmmaker (Stella Velon)
  • Annual Queen Palm International Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Palm Springs
    United States
    July 14, 2019
    Palm Springs Premiere
    Best Actress - Short Film (Stella Velon)
  • Method Fest Independent Film Festival | WINNER
    Los Angeles
    United States
    March 26, 2019
    West Coast Premiere
    Best Short Film
  • Method Fest Independent Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Los Angeles
    United States
    March 26, 2019
    West Coast Premiere
    Best Actress (Stella Velon)
  • UK Film Review Awards | WINNER
    London
    United Kingdom
    December 21, 2018
    Best Director (Stella Velon)
  • UK Film Review Awards | NOMINEE
    London
    United Kingdom
    December 21, 2018
    Best Short Film
  • Indie Shorts Mag | EDITOR'S PICK

    "The Best Of All, From 2018!"
  • Manchester Kinofilm | WINNER
    Manchester
    United Kingdom
    November 26, 2018
    International Premiere
    Women in Film Award (2nd place)
  • Boston Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Boston
    United States
    September 22, 2018
    World Premiere
    Best Short Film / Official Selection
  • Short of the Year | WINNER

    Spring Edition / Special Jury Mention
  • Women's International Film & Arts Festival | OFFICIAL SELECTION
    New York
    United States
    June 7, 2019
    New York Premiere
    Not a competition
  • Arpa International Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Los Angeles
    United States
    November 20, 2020
    Best Short Film
  • Sunscreen Film Festival | NOMINEE
    St. Petersburg
    United States
    April 28, 2019
    East Coast Premiere
    Best Breakout Short
  • London Independent Film Festival | NOMINEE
    London
    United Kingdom
    April 12, 2019
    London Premiere
    Best Short Film / Official Selection
  • Filmatique Talents | OFFICIAL SELECTION

    Online Film Showcase (April 2019)
  • The HB Film Festival | WINNER
    Paisley
    United Kingdom
    October 21, 2019
    Scotland
    Best Story
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Royal Gem Diamond Award - Festival Standout)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Gold Award for Best Short Film — First-time Filmmaker
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Gold Award for Best Actress - Short Film (Stella Velon)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Silver Award for Best Trailer
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Bronze Award for Best Producer (Jean Gabriel Kauss)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Bronze Award for Best Editor (Ivan Andrijanic)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Bronze Award for Best Cinematography (Akis Konstantakopoulos)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | WINNER
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Honorable Mention for Best Director (Stella Velon)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Gold Nomination for Best Actor (Alan Smyth)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Gold Nomination for Best Music (Asaf Sagiv))
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Gold Nomination for Best Poster (Sylvere Azoulai)
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Palm Springs
    United States
    December 15, 2018
    Gold Nomination for Best Writer (Stella Velon)
  • Oaxaca Film Festival | NOMINEE
    Oaxaca
    Mexico
    October 7, 2019
    Mexico Premiere
    Finalist
  • Worldfest Houston | WINNER
    Houston
    United States
    Remi Original Dramatic
  • Best Shorts Competition | WINNER

    Award of Excellence: Short Film
  • Best Shorts Competition | WINNER

    Award of Excellence: Actress Leading (Stella Velon)
  • Best Shorts Competition | WINNER

    Award of Excellence: Women Filmmakers (Stella Velon)
  • Global Shorts | WINNER

    Award of Excellence
Distribution Information
  • Amazon Prime Video
    Distributor
    Country: United States
    Country: United Kingdom
  • UK Film Channel
    Distributor
    Country: Worldwide
  • Omeleto
    Distributor
    Country: Worldwide
Director Biography - Stella Velon

Stella Velon is an award-winning actress and filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles.

Her directorial debut, the psychological drama THE CRITIC (which she also wrote and starred in as the female lead opposite Alan Smyth) was among the five winners of Amazon Studios' inaugural All Voices Film Festival (amazon.com/allvoices) for U.S. filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. The festival judges included top executives at Amazon Studios and the founder and CEO of IMDb Col Needham. Most recently, Stella earned a 2020 Webby Award nomination for Best Individual Performance in a final selection of only five nominees alongside FKA Twigs and Emily Hampshire in the same category, among others. The finalists of the 2020 Webby Awards (dubbed the Webbys from Home) were selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) and singled out as one of the five best in the world in its category out of 13,00 entries from around the world.

Focused on personal and visceral storytelling, Velon garnered stellar reviews for her work on the film as a performer, writer and director. In addition, and since its launch at the 34th Boston Film Festival, 'The Critic' has amassed over 20 festival awards, including Best Breakout Performance at Festival Angaelica + Catalyst Content, the coveted Best Director prize at the 2018 UK Film Review Awards (in the company of Oscar-winning heavyweights such as Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' and Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born'), Best Short Film at the 2019 Method Fest (celebrating outstanding performances in independent film), Best Actress & Annual Grand Jury Prize at the Queen Palm International Film Festival (alongside 2019 Emmy-winning documentary 'Crime + Punishment' in the feature category) and also became Indie Shorts Mag's Editor's Pick.

UK Film Review’s Editor-in-Chief and lead film critic Chris Olson, described Stella's portrayal of the main character of the Actress as "one of the best leading performances of the year so far", her dialogues “exceptional”, and the film “a particularly poignant piece of cinema in the current social climate”. Indie Shorts Mag wrote: “From her writing & direction to acting, she has done it with such finesse, that it’s a pity that we can’t rate her any higher.” The film even broke a record by becoming the first short to receive a full 5-star rating on the latter and was dubbed "a sublime piece of indie film magic" by One Film Fan, among many other accolades.

As a performer, Velon has appeared in film and TV shows such as 'Baskets' (FX), 'Men in Black 3', 'Gossip Girl' (CW), etc., and has trained at some of the most prestigious drama schools in Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Paris X-Nanterre.

As a creator/screenwriter, she is currently working on a GIRL-POWERED DRAMEDY SERIES, loosely inspired by her modeling years in New York City, among several other projects in various stages of advancement. The show is fully fleshed out and is in active development in collaboration with fashion super agent, and former president of JGK Inc., Jean Gabriel Kauss.

Stella is perfectly bilingual (English/French) among others, and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, the Alliance of Women Directors and Alma Har’el’s curated talent discovery platform Free The Work. She grew up obsessively watching Baz Luhrmann's 'Strictly Ballroom', and 'Romeo + Juliet' and her latest work as a filmmaker has been influenced by the likes of Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky.

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Add Director Biography
Director Statement

'The Critic' is a short film about facing one's inner demons, with which I wanted to explore the psychology of what it is like to be confronted with one’s harshest, most merciless critic: one’s own self, and how destructive that little voice in our heads can be.
As an actress myself, I also wanted to weave in elements of what is happening at the moment within the entertainment industry and explore the perils and pressures of the profession while leaving the message of the film open to individual interpretation as I am a firm believer that how we perceive the world is how we experience it.

My intention with this piece is to fire up people's imagination, make them think and not spoon-feed the audience the answers like a lot of movies do.