What In the World

By Jamie Fraser | Comedy
A young woman asks a stranger to take her picture, then has more odd requests...

A distraught man is driving on a remote country road, music blaring and boxes of stuff rattling in his backseat. But despite his emotion, he stops when he spots a young woman next to a car flagging him down.

But she's not stranded. Instead, she has an odd request: she needs someone to take her picture. Turns out, this is the first of many odd, strange requests and stories she will tell him -- as an equally outlandish story unfolds, unbeknownst to him.

Written and directed by Jamie Fraser, this dark comedic short is as oddly captivating as the seemingly guileless, quirky young woman at the center of the story. Like the film, she spins an almost freakish story, told with such matter-of-factness that we can't help but be swept along upon what turns out to be an even odder tale.

The strength of the film is its unpredictability, starting with the visuals and editing, which have both a pastoral, understated naturalism that suits the setting, and camerawork that is almost stately in its movement. Yet there's something just slightly off-kilter in the bright classical score and the editing's rhythms, which also suits how the young woman tells her story.

As she veers from one request to the next, she weaves a type of narrative Jenga, balancing one strange block on the next. There are an accident, dead parents, and a nunnery involved, and actor Charly Clive weaves it all together with a mesmerizing balance of vulnerability, charm and command. She delivers the nimble dialogue with terrific timing, but the rhythm is rooted not in the demands of hitting a punchline, but of character and circumstance.

Unraveling those circumstances takes "What In the World" into unexpected directions. To elaborate more would be to give some of the pleasure away, but the truth is even weirder and more eccentric than the young woman's story. It unspools with ironic cheekiness, but it also unearths the distressed man's own story, which exists at a more tragic and sincere register. The juxtaposition of these two stories colliding one random afternoon in the countryside creates its strange poignancy, both for the audience and perhaps even for the young woman, who offers up a sincere moment of comfort. It's said that we are all starring in our own movies, and certainly, the man and young woman are amid their own very different journeys. But when our separate narratives intersect, even for just an incident, it makes for those riveting, singular moments that make life random, peculiar and oddly resonant.

You Might Also Like:


By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.


By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.


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.


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...


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.


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.

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.