Directed by Sean Ellis
Produced by Lene Bausager
Music by Rick Astley
Cashback is a comic short film following narrator Ben, a young art student working long night shifts in a supermarket, and his madcap group of colleagues, including two young men who take larking around to an extreme, and Jenkins, Ben’s thoroughly dislikeable, narcissistic boss, played to a tee by Stuart Goodwin. Despite his mundane work Ben, played by Sean Biggerstaff, has a big imagination. As boredom kicks in, he finds innovative ways to cope with the excruciatingly slow passing of time. Indeed the film soon takes an unexpected turn and goes deep, exploring concepts like time and beauty on a metaphysical level, with some impressive special effects and camera techniques.
Emilia Fox plays Sharon, the bored-to-tears cashier who finds herself the unwilling target of Jenkins’s attentions. In Ben’s fantasy world in which time can be stopped and space (and indeed the customers) can be explored as if frozen still, Jenkins gets his comeuppance and Ben gets to satisfy a craving which has plagued him for a long time.
Although it got mixed reviews, Cashback was a big success at short film festivals, and was subsequently made into a full-length feature. The short won Best European Short Film Festival (Grand Prix) and the Tribeca Film Festival Best Narrative Short amongst many others. 80s music enthusiasts will no doubt be delighted to know that the soundtrack for this film was composed by Rick Astley.