Sheriff [James L. Adams, UK, 2019]

Young boy, Joshua, is obsessed with the culture of Westerns – the films, the toys, the guns and, perhaps most of all, the sheriff’s badge. What starts off as a day of watching old classic movies, soon turns into a day of moral dilemmas and soul searching, as the boy is forced to ponder his present familial ties in the absence of a father figure.

Sheriff is a film that wants to genre blend. At times it is a comedic pastiche, at others, a heartfelt family drama. Achieving this kind of generic identity splicing is a huge challenge for filmmakers of all standings, and Sheriff does well to give itself a fighting chance through a variety of techniques.

Stick 'em up!

The first is the short’s well-chosen selection of music, which helps remind the viewer of its Western traditions and assists in grounding the tone of the piece. The second is its adept use of comedy early on to help the viewe