The Father

By Verner Maldonado | Comedy
An ex-con crashes his daughter's wedding to walk her down the aisle.

Jerry just got released from prison, and the first thing he wants to do is walk his daughter Lily down the aisle on her wedding day. The only problem? He isn’t officially invited. In fact, he’s persona non grata with his own family.

Jerry crashes the wedding anyway, only to realize just how unwanted he is at the family occasion. His estranged wife seemingly hates him, the groom is ineffectual and caught in the middle, his brother-in-law wants to punch him and even the minister can’t stand him.

But when Jerry finally gets to Lily, he realizes the biggest battle may not be walking her down the aisle, but hearing some hard truths about just what his absence means to her.

Created by director Verner Maldonado and writer Matthew Schlissel, this scrappy yet touching short family drama chronicles the lengths that one father will travel to atone for past mistakes and make up for lost time — only to find that redemption is not as straightforward as he thinks.

The foundation of the short is its character-based writing, offering a full and satisfying emotional arc and vividly portrayed relationships that cover the fractious yet deeply felt currents of familial love in its many permutations. The emotional terrain of the film is surprisingly rich and complex, especially in a short narrative, but it’s held together by a steady and enduring view of parental love.

The camerawork and naturalistic cinematography are as rough-and-tumble, loose and volatile as the main character himself. But the style offers an immediate and arresting immersion into the complex web of resentments, unresolved conflicts and unspoken truths that Jerry must navigate to get what he wants.

Jerry faces resentment and anger from nearly all members of his family as he tries to infiltrate into the “inner circle” of his daughter’s wedding. It doesn’t help that his approach can be as confrontational and volatile as his temperament.

But even when actor Gareth Williams gives us a glimpse of the darkness and unpredictability that likely put him in prison in the first place, he never loses touch with the deep well of paternal love that motivates him to walk through fire and fury in the first place. It’s this enduring love as a father — and the regret he carries for missing much of his daughter’s life — that tugs at the heart when he finally reaches Lily and begs her to let him walk her down the aisle.

The ending of “The Father” doesn’t descend into mawkishness, however, because it stays true to the sharp, sometimes ferocious nature of this particular patriarch, which admittedly seems inherited by many branches of the family as a common trait. But it’s still quite touching because of its truthfulness, and its implicit recognition that in many families, love and devotion often co-exist with anger and resentment. When Jerry truly hears the perspectives of those he has affected, he finally makes some headway — and finds his way back into his loved ones’ lives.

You Might Also Like:


By Sharon Everitt | Comedy
A Star Trek actor tries to one-up his co-star in his return to Hollywood.

More Than God

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

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

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

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.

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.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Lost and Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.


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.

Partners (Sundance)

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's sex life is in a slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship.


By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man works in a food truck, across from a brothel with a girl who needs his 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.