Start With Half

By Nathaniel Katzman | Comedy
A widower and his grandchild bond over a pot muffin.

Robert is an ailing widower living alone. He also has Parkinson’s disease, which makes doing anything around the house a challenge.

His grandchild Bec comes to the rescue, bringing a pot muffin to help with Robert’s tremors. But the effects won’t kick in for a little bit, and the mismatched pair hang out and spend time together until it does, coming to an understanding and appreciation of one another despite their differences.

Written and directed by Nathaniel Katzman, this dry, warmhearted multi-generational comedic short can be framed as both a family comedy and stoner humor, told with unflashy visual sophistication, deep trust in its characters and performers and a delight in humanity’s great diversity.

While many comedies lean on writing and performance to generate the rhythm, set-ups and pay-offs of the humor, the visual style plays a role in setting up the tone and characters to create more wryly subtle laughs. The richly detailed production design, which is full of quirky detail, contains a wealth of information about Robert, including his faith, his family and his generation.

The camera and editing take a more observational approach, encouraging us to exist in Robert’s world, but also observe the differences between grandfather and grandkid. This approach also allows viewers to adapt to the pace of the characters as they embark on their little adventure together. Their dialogue together is less a conversation and more a series of shared moments: listening to talk radio, playing cards, ordering food.

There’s a subtle disconnect and clear differences in values and perspective between the pair, but there’s also a slow acceptance of these differences. Actors George Wyner and Petey C. Gibson play Robert and Bec, respectively, and have a terrific rapport as performers, accentuating their differences without overstating them. Robert is on the irascible side and a traditionalist; Bec is tech-savvy and modern. But as they wait for the muffin to kick in, they learn to live with these differences and even perhaps enjoy them.

Quietly delightful, quirky and warmly affectionate, “Start With Half” isn’t very long, but its characters traverse a great distance in that short duration, coming together in a way that feels both authentic to who they are but also genuinely sweet in emotion. By giving each other space and a bemused acceptance, this pair come to surprise one another, and eventually deeply appreciate each other as family and fellow human beings.




You Might Also Like:

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Into the Silent Sea

By Andrej Landin | Sci-Fi
A Soviet cosmonaut who is stranded in space discovers a voice in the distance.

Infinite ft. George MacKay

By Connor O’Hara | Drama
A terminally-ill man has a plan to 'live on' and gets his friends to help.



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.