The award winning short film Tuned In by Matthew Marshall has received an “Official Selection” from the Shorts Off Film Festival. This is the films second Official Selection at Festivals. Tuned In has already had some great showings at previous festivals winning 20 awards already since the film’s release in August of 2016.  Awards included “Best of Festival” and “Best Short”, along with five other awards at the Bakker International Film Festival in Blenheim, Ontario.  The film also won “Best Mini Film”, “Best Message”, The “Family Award” as well as nine other awards at the Christian Online Film Festival.

Tuned In is a short film that explores the issues of cell phones. family and relationships. “Finding the right frequency on a radio is crucial to hearing the program that is on the air. The same is true for relationships”, says the film’s director and writer Matthew Marshall. 

The film is a story about Emma, a teenager who disobeys dinner table rules of her parents and gets grounded until she learns to get priorities straight and learns the value of relationships.  “A major part of the story deals with the frustration of Emma’s parents and friend Stacey, none of whom can seem to get ‘tuned in’ to Emma’s frequency and break her connection with her cell phone”, says Marshall.


Emma is played by London, Ontario native Marley Cabral who relates to the story. Cabral like many other teens, these days relies on her smart phone as her “connection” to the world and friends. “I relate to Emma, in that I know exactly what she is going through in the film”, says Cabral. She goes on to say “phones are the lifeline of all teenagers at this age. We all are so connected to our devices” adds Cabral.


Corina Leatherdale plays Emma’s mom in the movie, and she thinks it’s a film that many families should sit down and watch. “This film will touch families because they will relate to the central themes that this film’s family are dealing with”, Leatherdale says. She thinks it’s a film that teenagers should watch with their parents and then have a discussion about how this might apply to their home and family.  Marshall explores that idea a little deeper.   “The film is relevant and timely in society today as it explores issues of teens being connected to social media and their electronic devices but not connected to family and other personal relationships,” Marshall says when talking about the film. Marshall goes on to talk about the fact that if people are honest the majority of them, under the age of forty check their smart phones compulsively, especially the younger generation and especially teens. The more people use them the more often the urge is to look at them.  “Cell phones are this powerful computer that gives us constant information; the new, the interesting and unpredictable. We feel rewarded with every Facebook post, text and new tweet”, Marshall comments, when talking about the central issue of the film. The need to know what’s going on and be connected all the time, is one of the hallmarks of an addiction.  “The use of mobile devices is like a drug. As with any drug over time, overuse can be destructive. It isolates us from the world around us”, adds Marshall.


The film is done under the banner of Marshall Production Company m & s Marshall Productions.  Marshall is coming off the success of his award winning feature film “Daughter of the King”, which won Thirty two awards, three official nominations and Sixteen official selections in film festivals around the world.


Along with Cabral as Emma and Leatherdale as the mother the rest of the cast includes; Jamie Rainbird, Talitha Wood and Brittany Sterling.  The film will also feature a number of extras from London area. The crew is made up of people from Chatham and London.


Marshall feels this film is a great discussion starter if you want to bring the device dependency issue to the table… and, the moral of the story is just breathtaking.

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Tuned IN IMDb Page:


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