The Goldfish

By Ashley Brim | Drama
An adopted woman confronts her darkest fear at her sister's baby shower.

Audre and her husband Jason are trying to start a family. But then Audrey attends her pregnant sister's party, full of kids and her sister's "Lamaze-ma" group. It's as if Audre has been dropped off on another planet, full of maternal domesticity.

At the party, Audre deals with questions about being adopted, her fertility and her baby-making plans, often in off-putting and tone-deaf conversations. And as the afternoon turns into evening, Audrey must face and come to terms with her fears and ambivalence about pregnancy and motherhood.

Written and directed by Ashley Brim, this thoughtful short dramedy has a measured, almost gentle approach to knotty emotional territory. It weaves a character-centered narrative with lovely naturalistic visuals and a touch of quirky observational humor, offering insight into how identity, societal expectations, relationship dynamics and biology intertwine to Audre's decision to become a mother fraught with both longing and apprehension. It's also a deft portrait of the unique psychological cross-currents that adopted children navigate when they grow up and start families of their own.

The well-paced, perceptive writing is especially good at capturing the discomfort Audre feels when the private matters of getting pregnant and starting a family become communal conversation topics. That discomfort increases at her sister's party, captured in scenes that are both sharply observant about the social mores around women and fertility and dryly witty about people's lack of filter.

Adding to the emotional complexity are Audre's unresolved feelings about her identity as an adopted child, particularly as a Black child adopted into a white family. Actor Diarra Kilpatrick juggles these many layers with a graceful, honest performance, made all the more compelling by how much she can't say. Faced with the milestone of becoming a mother herself, Audre must confront what it meant for her birth mother to give her up.

"The Goldfish" doesn't end with any tidy conclusions, but rather with an open-ended line of inquiry for Audre as she grapples with her ambivalence. The film is less about easy answers, and more about an honest, heartfelt and wise representation of the vagaries of getting pregnant and becoming a parent. It's a deeply personal, often private conversation, or even a battle, as many dealing with infertility can attest. It's also an enormous undertaking and transformation -- a common one, but also quietly earth-shattering in its capacity for both joy and sorrow.

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.