The Gift (United Kingdom, 15min)
Directed by: Andrew Griffin
Written by: Andrew Griffin
Davie McKay, Gary Lewis, Kate Dickie, Lorraine Stanley
A middle aged couple live out an uncommunicative, isolated existence in a house on remote wetlands. Childless, the wife is neurotically consumed with the rituals of IVF treatment, whilst the husband smokes cigarettes outside.
An uncommon visit from a neighbor unsettles the woman, alerting them to a missing pet, and after which the husband begins to find dead animals left on their step, which he then dismissively casts aside.
With the husband preparing to leave to work overnight, the wife is out collecting firewood and spies a vast stork nests atop a nearby pylon, harried by aggressive, swooping Rooks. That night, as the woman sleeps, the house is apparently visited upon by an apparition, rattling windows and beating at the door before all goes quiet. The woman tentatively opens the door, peering outside to no avail, until she notices something has been left for her on the step. It is the gift she has always wanted, but with it comes the question of where it came from, and with her returning husband come uncomfortable questions, divisions and tragic consequences.