LATE, by Alexander Mansfield Martinez, is a coming-of-age drama about a young woman who finds herself in the middle of a life-changing decision after discovering something unexpected.
Maya, who is raised in a single-parent family and lives with her mother, younger sister, and grandmother, is the protagonist of the story. We can tell something is bothering her when she refuses to accompany her best friend to a local nightclub as planned.
When she gets home from school one day, she sees her hardworking mother hurrying off to her nursing job. She then looks after her grandmother and her younger sister. But once she’s put them to bed, her secret begins to weigh heavily on her.
LATE Explores the Emotional Tussle of a Teenage Girl
On the surface, the film is about adolescent pregnancy, but LATE focuses on Maya’s emotional struggles as a result of the stigma attached to it. The film depicts Maya’s world and her struggle to keep everything together until she makes that critical decision.
We can certainly talk about the time in which everything is governed by people’s thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Unfortunately, we treat such cases as taboo, despite the fact that any teen who goes through this will undoubtedly require family support, even more, to be able to choose the right path.
The story has universal appeal because teenage parenthood has been a topic of discussion and concern in every part of the world. While the concern is justified in terms of health and welfare, we as a society must be more open to challenging stigmatizing representations of adolescent motherhood or, in many cases, their social exclusion.
Getting back to the film, Nia Towle excels as Maya. With her concern for her traditional family and social fears, we can sense her emotional distress. It’s also commendable that such a complex subject was successfully condensed into a 14-minute film. Congratulations to writer-director Martinez.
LATE is currently touring the international festival circuit, having recently won Best Short at the Indie-Lincs Film Festival in the United Kingdom, where it was also nominated for Best Actor or Ensemble. If you want to learn more about the film and the filmmaker, go to the official website: alexandermmartinez.com.
Starring – Nia Towle, Lucy Jackson, Naima Stevenson, Lucia Hamilton & Alibe Parsons
Writer & Director – Alexander Mansfield Martinez
Producers – Archie Pearch, Fraser Rigg, Alexander Mansfield Martinez, George Telfer
Executive Producer – Amy Gardner
Co-Producer – Caroline Dreesmann
Cinematographer – Fraser Rigg
Editor – Julie Buckland