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This tragic story is a beautifully shot but disturbing look at growing up innocent in a world of rural American drug addicts. Shot over a three-year period in Pennsylvania with many locals mixed in with the professional actors, it follows communities torn apart by a legacy of pharmaceutical opioid over-prescription. Audrey Grace Marshall (who may remind you of a young Elle Fanning) gives an extraordinary performance as ten-year-old Emma. Emma is surrounded by addicted adults, not necessarily malicious towards her, but rather oblivious, neglectful, and self-involved, lost in their own black holes of opioid dependency.

SMALL TIME is about childhood, family, and the role models around us. Stubborn patriotism, dogmatic faith, and the sexualization of young women are all themes that swirl around in this unforgettable movie. Director Niav Conty frequently works as a DOP on other people’s projects, so this film is breathtakingly shot. In fact, Emma could be growing up in the Garden of Eden were it not for the snake of drug addiction that is shredding the community around her. Emma goes off to do a favour and score some drugs from a sleaze-ball in a diner. She had been playing in makeup beforehand and went out looking somewhat older than her years. As the dealer hands her the stash he looks at her lasciviously and says “I’m interested”. She replies, genuinely not getting it: “Interested in what?” Your heart goes out to her. How long can innocence prevail when you are being raised in a moral swamp?

Cinequest * WINNER* AUDIENCE AWARD for narrative feature
Santa Fe Independent film festival
Saint Louis International film festival
Rockport Film Festival- Best Feature
Centre film festival - *WINNER* Best Feature, Best Director, Best Acting (for Audrey Grace Marshall)
St. Louis International film festival - *WINNER* NFF Emerging Director Award

  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    104 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Canadian Premiere
  • Rating
    Contains strong language, drugs
  • Director
    Niav Conty
  • Screenwriter
    Niav Conty
  • Producer
    John J.A. Jannone, Niav Conty
  • Cast
    Audrey Grace Marshall, Kevin Loreque, Holter Graham, Dominique Johnson, Maria Hasen, Elissa Middleton, Jason Gratkowski