When director Victoria Mapplebeck found an old Nokia phone in her house, its archived calls and texts brought back memories of one exchange in particular.
In the short film “160 Characters,” Mapplebeck tells the story of a former relationship through real calls and texts. The texts speak of a bygone era of T9 and endless typing shortcuts. (You probably haven’t sent a message like “Thank u 4 a wonderful night” in a while.) The film was shot on an iPhone 6—the opposite of the technological spectrum from the phone at the film’s center. Mapplebeck recreates a notion of the places in London where the texts might have been received, with shots of everyday life in between.
We see a promising romance unfold before it takes a sharply unexpected turn.