Watch: Comedic Short ‘The Ref’ About a Youth Sports Ref vs. Parents
by Alex Billington
August 5, 2022
“We’re going to resume play.” The most annoying thing about youth sports is not the game itself, or the altered rules, it’s all the hysterical parents who get upset at pretty much anything. Right, right? Or is it also the a-hole referees who don’t really care about the game? Probably both. The Ref is an awkward comedic short film made by filmmaker Peter Edlund, co-written by Peter and his brother Ian Edlund. The short is about a young referee who struggles to maintain control over a 2nd grade basketball game. The kids aren’t the issue. Everything breaks down when he gets into an argument with one of the parents, though every last one of the adults here is annoying. But that’s the point. The Ref stars co-writer Ian Edlund as the ref, along with Frank Boyd, Emily Chisholm, Kevin Kelly, Keaton Whittaker, Christopher Goodson, Ian Lerch. This is so good it plays like a doc not a fictional film, as if they just strolled into a game then turned the camera on.
Thanks to Short of the Week for featuring this one. Brief description from YouTube: “A referee struggles to maintain control over a 2nd-grade basketball game.” The Ref is directed by Seattle-based filmmaker Peter Edlund – you can see more of his work on his Vimeo or visit his production company Visual Pollution’s website. The screenplay is written by Peter Edlund and Ian Edlund. From a story by Ian Edlund. After being prompted to come up with an idea, Ian was “‘crossing Atlantic Avenue, I saw an image of a referee slamming a ball to the ground in frustration.’ This random scene is what Ian credits as the first spark of inspiration for The Ref, as he was transported back to his experiences watching his brother in youth basketball.” Produced by Megan Leonard. Co-produced by Séverine Tibi and Anaïs Calmels. With cinematography by Ty Migota, and music by Erik Blood. For more info, visit the film’s website. To watch more shorts, click here. Thoughts?