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Review of State of Mind Directed by Jordyn Braaten

As the title "State of Mind" suggests, this independent short film by Jordyn Braaten is about the psychological state of a young boy named Naveed, played by Arush Ahan Pathak, whose family is the victim of the September 11th terror attack.

In this boy's world filled with constant stress and overwhelming anxiety, it's no wonder that there is a constant struggle to find inner peace. Braaten captures this struggle really well and makes it a harrowing journey on the boy’s part as he desperately seeks to save himself from a psychological meltdown.

Naveed’s mother played by Madhusmita Bora, is a helpless spectator trying to salvage the boy. Bora did not have much to do in this short as from the first frame to the last, it is about the torment that the child is going through and the focus is almost fully on him, however, she manages to garner sympathy as portrays her angst in the limited space she gets.

The young protagonist of State of Mind, Arush Ahan Pathak, is a star in the making as he is effortless in every frame, whether it is during his conversations with his mother or during his nightmares.

The WandaVision and Ozark famed Archith Sheshadri plays the role of Naveed’s father and does justice to the time he has appeared on screen.

The screenplay written by Davis Clark manages to be both sensitive and thrilling in its approach. The producers Row Walters and Tim Barrera have done a fantastic job in bringing this story to the world.

The director Jordyn Braaten deserves a special mention as she fluently tells the language of a child’s trauma and her understanding of human nature needs to be lauded. It is probably her exposure to the military training that enables her with a deep understanding of emotions and their conflicts.

It is hardly of any surprise that State of Mind is getting rave reviews and having a very successful stint at the festival circuit. One of the recent feathers in the cap of this short is winning Best Psychological Thriller Short in the 7th Season of Star Dust Films & Screenplays Festival.

Project submission link:

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