Close Ties to Home Country follows Akanksha, a young immigrant who grew up in Saudi Arabia but is originally from India. She gets hired to dog sit Timothee, the baby Frenchie of Instagram influencers Harry and India whilst they go away on holiday to India. Whilst dog sitting Timothee, Akanksha bonds with the dog and reflects on her time in America. It just so happens that her sister is scheduled to visit her soon and the two haven’t seen each other for nine years.
Close Ties to Home Country is inspired by writer/director Akanksha Cruczynski’s experiences dog sitting but it also stars Cruczynski and her sister. And this is probably why the film hits so deeply and is as impactful as it is because of the true tragedies that it is based on. Despite being just fifteen minutes long Close Ties to Home Country is an excellent short film that gets the balance just write between comedy and tragedy.
It begins quite light and breezy as we laugh at the lives of the instagrammers and their home and the way they pronounce Timothee’s name. But as the film goes on and as Akanksha starts reflecting on her time in America and how long it’s been since she’s gone home the film starts to take a more serious tone and it really packs a punch as it tackles themes about identity.
This is in part down to the great script but also down to the incredible acting. It’s totally understandable why the film is Student Academy Award 2021 winner as Close Ties to Home Country is an excellent short film.
It’s told in a good way, and it never throws too much at us at once. It’s a funny film but also so incredibly sad and moving too and it gets the blend of these different tones spot on to create a short film that is balanced so well and is such a touching film.
DIRECTOR: Akanksha Cruczynski
STARS: Akanksha Cruczynski, Cassie Kramer, Sophia Rafiqi
RUNTIME: 15 minutes