Leecher

By Yonatan Weinstein | Drama
When a vaccine is denied permission for human trials, a young scientist will do whatever it takes to prove its efficacy.

Dr. Adam Leecher is a brilliant scientist and doctor, working on an ambitious vaccine against an unnamed parasite, which affects women’s ability to conceive and carry children.

He is also a husband, confronting fertility issues with his wife Rose. Their latest treatment has failed, and their doctor advises them to consider other options to create a family.

To add to his load, the vaccine he’s been working on has been denied permission for human trials, despite his stellar research and experimentation so far. Angry and upset — and facing the prospect of throwing away years of work — he will do whatever it takes to prove that it works.

Writer-director Yonatan Weinstein has fashioned a character-driven sci-fi drama that examines the corrosive effects of thwarted ambition, as well as the toll that infertility can take on a couple. By intertwining these two emotional needs together, the story is a portrait of how both a burning desire for a particular outcome and the inability to accept anything less can combine, leading to calamitous effects.

Unlike many sci-fi shorts, there aren’t any dazzling special effects or intricate world-building — the technology that the film pivots upon is within the realm of today’s world, though that world seems to be grappling with some kind of new virus or infection.

Instead, the writing and craftsmanship focuses on the human drama, particularly between Adam and Rose. The crisp, clean cinematography and the sensitive camerawork are attuned to the emotional undertow of their characters, with each beat charted with care. And effective, subtle performances by lead actors Richard Stables and Adi Ezroni make it easy for audiences to believe in this couple’s connection and love for one another, even as they both grapple with the idea that they may not be able to start a family in a biologically traditional way.

They oscillate between resignation, anger and sadness as their hopes are first dashed. But when those hopes are then perilously raised, it’s also not hard to root for them, or at least understand why they are driven to their decision — even if its consequences are almost guaranteed to be calamitous.

The story ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, and in some ways, it feels almost as if it’s the beginning of a feature instead of the end of a short. The arc of the couple has definitely shifted, though it lands them on the edge of a new, unseen precipice by film’s end. True to the film’s design, the story is less about the technology itself, but more about the ways human drives can warp technology. The true viruses in “Leecher” aren’t necessarily the ones in our bodies, but the ambition and needs that drive us to extreme, often catastrophic decisions.




You Might Also Like:

Hold On

By Charlotte Scott-Wilson | Drama
A young cellist develops stage fright after one of her cello strings comes lose during an important performance.

Don’t Be a Hero ft. Missi Pyle

By Pete Lee | Drama
A middle-aged woman battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break.

Our Kind of Love

By Elham Ehsas and Azeem Bhati | Romance
An Afghan village girl goes on her first date in London.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. Ian McKellen, David Bradley

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A once-legendary farmer takes a chance and invest his life savings in a thoroughbred piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
Two strangers, trying to avoid the crowd at a wedding reception, end up making an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
Two brothers caught in a time loop must traverse a series of maze-like events in order to prevent a catastrophic fire from occurring.

Garfield

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy. Then, she start to piece together how she got there.

Partners

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's love life begins to slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship and confront how intertwined they've become.

Small Arms ft. Tyler Young

By Arman Cole | Drama
A bullied college student seeks out shooting lessons with an ex-militia member to prove his manhood.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man finds himself in between a food-truck and a brothel. Then, he meets his dream girl.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A heartbroken woman finds a one-night stand. But the guy lives two hours away... via public transit.

Ten Thousand Days

By Michael Duignan | Comedy
A man is convinced he'll die on his 10,000th day. But when he meets a girl at his cousin's funeral, things don't go to plan.

Pawns

By Tyrees A. Lamptey | Drama
A WW1 soldier is trapped in a trench with the enemy... and it restores their faith in humanity.

Pitter Patter Goes My Heart ft. Vicky Krieps

By Christoph Rainer | Romance
A hopeless romantic takes desperate measures to win her former lover back. But he already has a new girl at his side.

Grape Soda

By Justin Robinson | Drama
A marriage, broken by death, is kept alive by the memories held through grape soda.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.