Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who's cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

A young father, Ian, is on the road, speeding down the highway and trying to talk to his wife on the phone. Recently separated from her, he feels he’s being unfairly kept away from his newborn son Colin. And he’s now taking matters into his own hands.

But when he finally gets his wife on the phone, alliances will shift and feelings will change as new information emerges during the course of the conversation.

Directed by David M. Helman and written by Nathaniel David Shriver, Naysayer features an intense performance by “Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun, who holds the screen on his own with compelling agitation and intensity.

Playing a father struggling to be a part of his son’s life, Yeun brings the initial emotional dilemma of the film to life with conviction, and each story beat adds a layer of complexity to our understanding of him and his motives. He works beautifully off of a voice performance by actress Alanna Masterson, who manages to convey a rich spectrum of feeling and realization without appearing onscreen. Character and situation are rendered through excellent and precise dialogue, which masterfully controls the information available to the viewer, while deepening our engagement with Ian as a character.

Visually, “Naysayer” is a road movie, with Ian on the run as he travels through the rich yet desolate desert landscape, a small speck on a vast expanse. The moving landscape adds to the visual dynamism of the short, while also underscoring Ian’s isolation and desperation. As the film slowly darkens — and the sound design ratchets the intensity with a baby’s increased wailing in the background — so does the audience’s understanding of what’s really going on with Ian.

Using a gracefully executed, emotionally devastating sleight-of-hand, the final twist is heart-wrenching, both for Ian as he confronts the meaning of his actions and for the audience, who gets the whole picture of what is happening, and why. Revealing itself in the end as an emotional mystery, it begs for a re-watching of the short — and shows how things are never as they entirely seem, especially in domestic conflicts, though it can be easy to make it seem so.




You Might Also Like:

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Drama
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Mordechai

By Benjamin Bee | Drama
An ultra-Orthodox Jew reunites with his twin brother for their father's funeral.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman uncovers the truth about the man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Cradle

By Devon Manney | Animation
A veteran soldier who loses both arms battles phantom pains and memories of a pre-war life.

Hold On

By Charlotte Scott-Wilson | Drama
A young cellist develops stage fright after a string comes lose during a big performance.

Don’t Be a Hero

By Pete Lee | Drama
A woman battles her loneliness by robbing banks as 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.

Lost and Found

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A clumsy crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A farmer invests his savings in a piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.

Partners

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's sex life is stuck in a slump, forcing them to reconsider their relationship.



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.