Directed by Cathy Brady, Ireland, 2010, 18 mins
Small Change is a realist work set in a world of extreme sensations: a small Irish town where lost hopes stick like scum around the grey streets, the yellowed lino in the little supermarket and the flashing buttons and games of the local arcade and funfair. At the same time, however, there is community, friendship and co-operation, delivered with rough-edged love. This vivid film has, at its centre, two stunning performances: a mother, feverish with worry, addicted to the slot machines and struggling to keep it together for her daughter as Christmas approaches; and the daughter, clever, watchful, funny and strong, a little adult with a kid's sense of creativity and humour. Given that her portrayals of place and personality are so strong, and that she can find great, droll wit in the least likely circumstances, I can't wait for the next long feature Brady produces.