Expectant

By Matthew Bumby and Benjamin Sliker | Sci-Fi
A woman trying to conceive a child gets a chance from an unexpected source -- the sky.

Joanna has been trying to have a baby with her husband Rob for some time. But she hasn’t had any luck, and the void in her life and her relationship remains empty and unfulfilled.

One night after trying to conceive under the beautiful night sky, her husband questions just why they’re trying so hard, exposing fissures in their marriage.

Just as all hope is lost, though, Joanna gets some help from an unexpected source. But help itself comes with a whole set of wild complications, and some devastating revelations.

Matthew Bumby and Benjamin Sliker write and direct a short sci-fi drama that explores the intersection of infertility and the chasms of aching and longing that it can open up in a partnership.

Though the film is undoubtedly sci-fi, the storytelling takes its time in the first half of the film to solidly establish its main character’s emotional circumstances, grounding the film in a deeply resonant and human situation. Through solid performances and compellingly perceptive writing, the audience understands Joanna’s primal yearning for a child to call her own, as well as Rob’s hurt that their relationship seemingly isn’t “enough” for Joanna.

Because the film carefully constructs the emotional dynamic within and between the couple, by the time the film shifts gears, we understand what’s at stake for Joanna — and just why she begins to welcome a sudden, overwhelming change that will fundamentally alter her life and body — and exposes just how hollow and even dangerous her relationship with Rob is.

By the time the suspense, tension and special effects gain momentum and “Expectant” enters sci-fi thriller territory, it still keeps its pulse on Joanna’s emotional arc, making for an unusually compassionate and perceptive story about an aspect of women’s experiences often shrouded in pain, silence and shame.

In a way, it’s much more of a drama with a sci-fi element, instead of the other way around. And though it ends, like many sci-fi shorts, with room for further exploration of the story, it does offer a complete emotional journey of a woman who achieves her heart’s deepest desire, though at an unexpected cost.




You Might Also Like:

Bless Me Father

By Paul M. Horan | Drama
A priest has a moral dilemma when a man confesses a secret that affects his life.

The Goodnight Show

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

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

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

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.



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.