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“You make things hard for yourself, don’t you?”

Izzy Alden (Isabelle Barbier) needs to get laid. She promised herself that she’d lose her virginity by the end of her freshman year in college. And with finals just around the corner, she’s running out of time. The problem with Izzy is that she’s hopelessly awkward. She doesn’t have the same natural confidence and social intelligence that her two best friends Fiona (Sadie Scott) and Anuka (Deeksha Ketkar) do. Fiona works at the local bowling alley and is lusting after the popular lesbian on campus. Anuka is Izzy’s closest ally but is dealing with her own drama of her complicated feelings for her long-distance boyfriend Juju (Dylan Rogers) and the hot blonde guy she spotted in the cafeteria. Izzy is determined to get an invite to a Crush party, where only people who are submitted as a crush can attend. But Izzy keeps sabotaging herself by putting her friendships at risk and ignoring the one guy, Oliver (Raph Fineberg), who is genuinely interested in her.

CRSHD is a quirky and authentic coming-of-age story that speaks directly to social media savvy youth. Director Emily Cohn wrote the script at age 21, produced it at 22 and wrapped up post-production by 24. She incorporates social media, texting and dating app technology into her film by having the characters act out the communications on screen. Having a young cast and crew working on the film makes the end result more relevant to its intended audience. Cohn and her team have assembled a fine cast of players. Barbier, Ketkar and Scott have natural chemistry with each other. Viewers will feel like they’re watching three friends rather than watching three actors playing friends.

“As a filmmaker, I’ve been interested in finding ways to make a computer or tablet or phone act not only as a prop, but also as a scene partner, since these devices often carry the weight of human emotion but lack the cinematic nuance to convey it.”

Director Emily Cohn

The cast is diverse with different races, ethnicities and sexual orientations represented. There has been a lot of discussion about diversity in film and TV as being forced to meet certain criteria. I appreciate films like CRSHD that demonstrate that this is a natural way of things. It also deconstructs beauty standards and highlights how beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and should not to be mandated by some artificial cultural norms.

CRSHD is available via virtual cinemas May 8th. Visit the official website for more information.