Traction is an awkward short film comedy about first dates, race, and racism. Directed, acted and written by Rory Uphold, the film stands for finding the uncomfortable truth in any situation. There’s a moment in the film where Andy (played by Uphold) half-pauses, finding herself in the unenviable position of having to shoot down an ill-considered joke. That it was delivered by her date Jake (Ahmed Bharoocha), only adds to the vibe of a good night-gone-shitty, and our empathy for her. But what’s really great about this film is that Uphold manages to pull an uncomfortable beat all over again. Only not in the way we’re expecting. It’s smart, telling work, delivered without fuss, and it may be all the more effective for it.


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