A energetic and amusing animated short film, about a boy finding his identity in a tug of war between his parents.

Told without dialogue, the boy is shown growing up between his mother’s place, a greenhouse full of plants, where she grew him in a pot, and his father’s place, a car garage, where he constantly tinkers on motors while chain-smoking. Equidistant between is a tree with an old tyre swing, surrounded by croaking frogs. This the boy’s favourite place, lazing on the tyre and croaking back at the frogs.

The father attempts to involve his son in his passion for cars, sneaking him away without the mum knowing, to take him rally car racing. In this funny animation, all sorts of hijinks ensues, with his father literally forcing him like a square peg into a round hole.

With gentle humour and playing on the ambiguity of the relationships we have with our parents, Sierra is about how our parents indelibly shape us, but how we can nonetheless find ourselves and our happiness.

Further And Further Away

A breathtakingly beautiful short film about a brother and sister dealing differently with wrapping up their lives before moving to the big city.

The brother is facing the future, he is eager to get on with living his life in the city, and all the opportunities it might afford. The sister wants to go one last time to the old village where they grew up, now completely flooded and partly submerged. She wants to pay her respects at the tomb of her parents, and hopes that the move won’t break her relationship with their spirits. She goes once again to mourn, a process that takes as long as loving.

She and her brother are moving further and further away from their past, but also from each other, in attitude and outlook. But the hope of the movie is all distances can close.

If you like this…

There Is Exactly Enough Time

Oskar Salomonowitz was a 12-year-old boy who drew 206 pages on a flip book to make his first animation, when he was suddenly killed in an accident. His father finishes the story.

The animation itself is a delightfully childlike cartoon of two stickmen fighting with swords while flying with jetpacks on their feet. The joyful pew-pew of their dynamic aerial fight slows as it reaches Oskar’s last images. When his father completes it, combining sputtering jet-boots and parachutes and bombs, it is a triumphant end to the story.

It’s 2 minutes long. It’s simple and silly. It’ll make you cry.

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Dad’s Sneakers

It’s Sasha’s last day in the orphanage. He’s about to be adopted by a nice woman and taken to America. He’s meant to be acting like he’s won the jackpot but he’s not.

The care workers are harassed with him, he hasn’t packed, he’s left his bed a mess, he hasn’t rehearsed the speech thanking his new mother in English. He tries to sneak off with the other boys, but their jealousy and resentment soon breaks down into open aggression. The adults regard his hesitancy as willfulness and shilly-shallying. No one seems to consider what it’s like for this boy to leave Ukraine, the only home he’s ever known, and the last chance to be reclaimed by his biological family.

A film about the difficulty of forging and breaking the bonds of family.


Noir-soleil is animated short about an unforeseen family reunion.

Everything in the film is about incongruous contrasts. The beautiful artwork, at times so gentle and soft, provides an unlikely medium for a story with such dark subjects.

The volcano rumblings around Pompeii set off a minor earthquake, which causes it to release one of its secrets. A body concealed beneath the water is set free, and rises to the surface. Miles away, in an isolated cabin, a man gets a voicemail to come ID the corpse.

On the boat crossing the Bay of Naples, the man, Dino, runs into his daughter, Victoria. Both were contacted by the police to give a DNA test to identify the body. What follows is an odd couple of days, which are half like a holiday, with Victoria, who has never been to her father’s old home, taking in the tourist sites, and half like a wake, filled with tension and frustrated grief.

Victoria and Dino’s relationship runs both in parallels and contrasts with his relationship with his father. Dino’s father was abusive when he was around, and when he disappeared, he assumed he had abandoned the family to start a new life in America. He was absent for most of Dino’s life and not approachable even before that. Dino’s relationship with Victoria is different, loving, but he still struggles to talk, to express his feelings. She is an adult, and they are not in close contact, but nonetheless she shows support, patience and love for him. Dino has clearly tried to be a better father than he got, but his upbringing has left its mark on him, and there is a silence and a distance that will always be there.

A film about the intergenerational legacy of trauma, told with both understanding and hope.