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Democracy in the Driver’s Seat

Directed by Gail Gilbert

Short Narrative
United States | 8 min | 2016

On a crowded city street, a woman runs to catch a bus, but misses it. With frustration in her eyes, she climbs aboard the next bus and begs the driver to do his best to catch up to her husband, who is on the bus ahead of them. At first the bus driver is reluctant to even acknowledge her request, but the other passengers urge him to help the woman out. Soon a positive excitement fills the air, and the driver skillfully moves his way through traffic to reach the other bus. A sense of camaraderie builds as more and more people get involved and show their support. It all reaches a climax when they finally pull up behind the bus and the woman hops off to join her husband.
The passengers revel in their sense of accomplishment as their bus pulls away from the curb. Suddenly, the sound of a gunshot cuts short the celebration. They look out the window and see the other bus driver’s head slammed against the steering wheel. Soon it becomes clear that the woman has shot the other bus driver dead. A look of horror fills the passengers’ faces as they realize the outcome of the action that they had all blindly supported.

Democracy in the Driver's Seat - Gail GilbertGail Gilbert
Director, Producer, Writer

Born in Seattle, Gail Gilbert has lived all over the world. She has a degree in Radio-TV-Film from Northwestern University, and a certificate in the Basic Program of Western literature from the University of Chicago.

Gail’s career as a Film Editor was fine-tuned in the Chicago advertising community, where she has edited high-end national TV commercials for over 20 years. She compares her role as editor to that of a collage artist — manipulating images and sounds over time. Her success comes from her ability to see what is in the film — not what was intended to be shot. “Anyone can move clips around a timeline. What people hire me for is my level of taste and the decisions I make.” Gail is a creative professional who thrives by providing new ideas and great solutions regardless of budget. Her fresh approaches and versatile talents keep clients coming back for more Gail.

Her career as a filmmaker grew out of her background as a still photographer and her vision of an intimate, personal cinema. By attending the Festival de Cannes and the New York Film Festival annually, Gail keeps up with current filmmaking beyond what arrives to commercial screens. Seeing what is being made on a global level feeds her creative sensibilities as both an editor and a director.

Gail credits her career in film to Luis Buñel’s THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE. It opened her eyes to the possibilities of film beyond a re-creation of the world around us. She is married and has three children. Together they love to travel and ski.

Democracy in the Drivers Seat_Poster

Film Information

Director: Gail Gilbert
Country: United States
Year: 2016
Language: English
Runtime: 8 min


Writer: Gail Gilbert
Executive Producer:
Gail Gilbert, Gaby Kuhn
Gail Gilbert, Barbara Stieglitz
Ryan Berena
Amanda Marien 
Original Music/Composer: 
Salvatore Córdova

Connect With This Film

Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival