Bright Ones

BRIGHT ONES, US, 2019. Starring Peyton Allen, Josie Buchanan, Chloe Elizabeth Vassallo, Asher Hansow, Christian Allen, Sydney Allen, Dominique Coq Vassallo, Fabiano Altamura, Dann Farrelly. Directed by David Norona, Fred Vassallo. 82 minutes. Rated G.

Young students audition for places at a school of the arts. The students are rather younger than older, pre-teens, early teens. Which means that this is something of a variation on High School Musical (much more low-key), a kind of junior Fame. Not that the students are any less enthusiastic in their auditioning and performance than their equivalents in the other films. They are enthusiastic.

They sing. They dance. They perform. And with zest.

And, as will be expected, several of them have their personal and family issues.

The screenplay focuses principally on four characters, Jay (Peyton Reed), an earnest young man, Claudia (Josie Buchanan), plagued with self-doubts despite encouragement – but breaking out at the end, Mia, older, a potential model, and Kira who finds her talent in stage management. There are two youngsters who play tricks and are employed by one of the (rather odd) teachers at the school. The principal is encouraging and there are two teachers who conduct the interviews, evaluate the auditions, promote the students.

This is the kind of film that encourages youngsters to break out and see if they can discover their talent – and see where that might lead.

The film was made under the auspices of Bethel Music. Bethel began as a church of the Assemblies of God in California but in the early 2000s branched out as their own community, company, with a range of singers and recordings, going on tour. The cast of this film also produced a record of the songs from the film which have many lyrics which express the faith and religious aspirations of the community.

Australians will think of Hillsong.

Here is the statement from the website for Bethel Music:

We are a community of worshipers, musicians, singers and writers passionately pursuing the presence of God. It is our privilege to commit our talents and our hearts to give God glory.

A Community of Worshipers

Bethel Music is a community of worshipers pursuing the presence of God. We exist to gather, inspire, and encourage the global church toward deeper intimacy with the Father. Together, we express who God is and who we are in Him, capturing fresh expressions of worship in every season.

Heritage Films                                                       Home entertainment

Peter Malone MSC is an Associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting.

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