On The Cusp, Longlist - Short Film - Fiction

Play It Safe

Mitch Kalisa


Originally from Rwanda, Mitch arrived in the UK as a child via Uganda. Mitch first explored his passion for film through acting and later moving into painting and sculpture before landing on directing as his primary creative output. The young director has recently been awarded “Next Director” at D&AD 2021. Play it Safe is his debut short film, influenced directly by his time at a prestigious drama school, and how this perceivably liberal and safe space has just as much ingrained prejudice as other predominantly white spaces. The response to the film so far has been incredible, picking up the “Audience Award” and “Jury Award” at SXSW 2021. Mitch uses his own experiences to underpin his cinematic pursuit: to break convention and boundaries and tell rich stories from diverse unheard voices. Focusing on complex and often challenging tales, and giving them a visceral character and performance driven platform. Mitch has also worked on commercial projects as a creative, going in house with brands to bring a unified approach to their content.