For many student borrowers, when repayments kick in six months after graduation the looming debt can feel as though it’s following them around like a dark cloud. Face the Red, a short film from the directors of Martha Marcy May Marlene, cinematizes that feeling by having a menacing red cloud follow around the film’s star.
Student debt totals more than a collective $1 trillion nationwide, and some 15 million debt holders are under the age of 30. The young age of many borrowers is probably why American Student Assistance (ASA), the non-profit organization that made the film, chose to raise awareness by video.
The well-made, genuinely scary film was made by SS+K, the advertising agency responsible for the viral Obama campaign video “Your First Time,” starring Lena Dunham. The film is designed to raise awareness for SALT, a website run by ASA that features free educational resources for student loan borrowers. SALT urges borrowers to take control of their debt and manage their finances because, as the film says in its closing line, “You can’t outrun [debt]—all you can do it face it and fight it.”