Watch: Riley Stearns' Spectacular Sundance Selected Short 'The Cub'
While we normally don't pay too much attention to the short films at the Sundance Film Festival, some of the selected films end up playing before our feature film presentations, and a gem or two really sticks with us through the rest of the festival. In 2012, I found Meaning of Robots to be truly fascinating and weird, and this past year, it was writer/director Riley Stearns (@RileyStearns) who delivered the simple, but memorable and unique, short film The Cub. When the film was presented in Park City, it played with the comedy Hell Baby, and it certainly has a similarly twisted sense of humor, but with subtle style. The logline simply says, "Wolves make the best parents." And we'll let the short film take care of the rest. Enjoy.
As you can see, a clever five-year-old girl is turned over by her middle-class parents to a pack of wolves to learn “strength, self-reliance, and cunning behavior." Stearns uses simple shots and off-screen action and sounds to tell a story that could've been a lot more complicated, but actually works much better as a cheaper, more efficient indie short. Another special aspect of the film, something that frequently happens with shorts, is that you don't truly understand the title of the film until the movie is over. The Cub could indicate any sort of story youngter's story, but once the short is finished, the audience understands. Cool?