GENREBLAST FILM FESTIVAL: Our First Priority (2022)

The GenreBlast Film Festival is entering its sixth year of genre film goodness. A one-of-a-kind film experience created for both filmmakers and film lovers to celebrate genre filmmaking in an approachable environment, it has been described by Movie Maker Magazine as a “summer camp for filmmakers.”

Over the next few days, I’ll be reviewing several movies from this fest, based in the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester, Virginia. This year, there are 14 feature films and 87 short films from all over the world. Weekend passes are only $65 and you can get them right here.

Our First Priority (2022): Directed and written by Ariel Baska, this short uses the lens of a horror movie to tell some truths about dealing with chronic illness. Hannah (Violet Gotcher) has to have a checkup and the doctor (Benjamin Frankenberg) only has so much time to spend with her — he’s reminded that he has another patient waiting more than a few times — and he can’t believe that she has such a strange list of medical issues. His only job is to check the boxes on his paperwork and move on to the next person.

But Hannah is followed by her adult self or guardian angel (Jamie Kirsten Howard) who will make this doctor pay for the way she was treated.

Baska dedicated this movie “to all the loved ones we’ve lost to medical bias” and started it while she was getting ready to receive brain surgery, referring to herself and her issues as a “medical unicorn.”

While quick and to the point, Our First Priority made me consider how every patient is treated and how when medical treatment is encouraged to add just one more minute of care to each patient exactly how short of time that is.

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