Well produced and directed short films manage to transmit their message despite the time limitation typically associated with the format. The success of such films, as in full features, depends greatly on the acting skills of the lead characters and their ability to engage the audience. In 2010, Rick Stevenson directed Displaced, a moving short drama about a young boy who is having troubles adjusting to the foster homes he is being sent to. Nathan Gamble (The Hole, The Mist , Babel) plays the role of Daniel, delivering an emotional and moving performance which makes it clear why he is one of the most sought after young actors in Hollywood.
Life in foster families is frequently addressed in novels and films. The opinions are often contrasting – some portray it as a stressful and horrifying experience while others, like Dave Pelzer in his novel Lost Boy, focus on the importance of these families in the development of the kids who need them. The truth lies somewhere in between – as each case is strictly individual. Many people critique foster case on the basis that, as a short term solution, it does not guarantee the permanent well-being of the kids, as they are frequently moved from one foster home to another and are thus deprived of the possibility of creating long lasting relationships within the homes where they reside.
In Rick Stevenson’s short film, Nathan Gamble plays the eleven-year-old Daniel who has been in the foster care system since he was two. After going through a lot of hardship, Daniel comes up with the idea that his brother will come and save him. After setting a fire at his latest foster home, Daniel is given one last chance to find a family. He meets Nemo (Darius Williams-Watt) – another foster child interested in the healing abilities of water. To Daniel, Nemo is a total weirdo and he is quick to show him that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. Will they manage to become friends despite their differences? You will find out when you see the film.
The film was commissioned by the City of Seattle as part of the Water Calling series, which aims to raise public awareness of environmental stewardship and the “importance of water as a healing, symbolic, life-giving and redemptive force in our lives” (1). It was made available to the public by the Seattle Channel. You may see it below (note: the film starts at the 19 minute and the 35 seconds mark):
1.City of Seattle, Office of Culture and Art (link)