By Helena Coan | Drama
2 strangers discover each other's secrets after being brought together by circumstance.

Janey is stealing booze for her abusive boyfriend one night when she crosses path with an old man named Arthur, who is knocked down on the sidewalk in the course of Janey’s escape flight from the liquor store.

Rather than leaving him, she walks the elderly man home to his flat, where he lives alone. But on this still night in a nameless night, their lives intersect in an unexpected way, leading to an encounter that will likely change the rest of their lives.

Writer-director Helena Coan’s short drama is a sensitive, emotionally perceptive narrative that takes two characters who normally would never even look at one another on the street, puts them together one night and observes the possibilities that arise when they look beyond the surface and see the secrets and struggles that make them both human.

The world of the film is primarily nocturnal, and the film’s visuals are saturated with gritty darks and shadows full of volatile unpredictability, captured by roving, even agitated naturalistic camerawork. The approach captures the tenor of Janey’s life: there’s no sense of safety or refuge, and Olivier Award-winning actor Patsy Ferran plays her with the high-strung anxiety characteristic of someone constantly scrabbling for any sign of stability or connection and never quite sure if she’ll get what she needs or even longs for in life.

The rhythm and tempo of the film shifts when she enters Arthur’s apartment, which is neglected, dark and decrepit — much like the man himself. Like his house, he’s inhospitable, even hostile. But played by actor Alan Williams with great specificity and precision, Arthur starts to see underneath Janey’s own facade, and his shift into an almost paternal inquiry — along with Janey’s own discovery of his deepest sorrow — is the fulcrum that moves the film’s subtle yet moving conclusion.

Marrying visual dynamism with emotional lucid storytelling that never loses sight of the characters’ interior lives, “Keepsake” is about taking the time to really look and consider the realities of others, with a lens of curiosity and compassion. The act of being truly seen and heard by another can be scary, and Janey herself is terrified and defensive when her own truths come to the surface. But in allowing her tight, anxious self to unravel just a bit with a complete stranger, she makes room for an act of generosity and kindness — one that will make a difference in her life, and give her the hope that all of us need to move forward.

You Might Also Like:


By Christophe M. Saber | Comedy
A father slaps a disobedient child. Then a bystander threatens to report him for abuse.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

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 | Sci-Fi
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.


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.

Don’t Be a Hero (Sundance)

By Pete Lee | Drama
A woman robs banks as a cowboy on her lunch break.

Lost & Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A 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.


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 (Sundance)

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

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.