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:

Feeling Through (Oscars)

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

Call Connect

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

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

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


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.

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 father is cut off from his son, then takes matters into his own hands...

Joseph’s Reel

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

Lost and Found (Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A clumsy 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.


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

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A young woman finds a one-night stand. But he lives 2 hours away via public transit.

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.