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Thursday, Dec 7th, 2023
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Voice Activated Featured, Reviews Film Threat

We never consider how modern conveniences can be so woefully inconvenient for certain parts of society. In Steve Anthopoulos’ short film, Voice Activated, a delivery driver struggles to do his job in a voice-activated world.

The task is simple for Trent (Aleks Mikic) this morning. He needs to deliver flowers out into the beautiful Australian countryside for a client’s wedding. Already anxious about arriving on time, when his phone rings, we discover that Trent has a stutter. He struggles to complete a simple call inquiring about a simple elf-themed floral arrangement.

“…the stress increases, making it impossible to get through the simple voice-driven menu tree of the Auto Club.”

As misfortune would have it, Trent’s car breaks down, and the stress increases, making it impossible to get through the simple voice-driven menu tree of the Auto Club. The pressure begins to mount when Trent is about to be late for the wedding delivery.

Inspired by Anthopoulos’ experiences, Voice Activated is a light comedy highlighting the challenges of our fellow brothers and sisters who experience varying degrees of stuttering. As the world moves away from human customer service agents to cold computer voice-activated menu trees, filmmaker Anthopoulos shows us how frustrating convenience and efficiency can get.

Clearly, for Anthopoulos, these frustrations are genuine, and he captures his lifelong experience into a beautiful crescendo of insanity…from the perspective of one who stutters. Aleks Mikic is more than up for the task, never resorting to stereotypical movie stuttering schtick, but rather an authentic portrayal instead.

Voice Activated screened at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival. For more information, visit the Madones Films website.

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