Miracle Fish

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Miracle Fish
Directed by Luke Doolan
Produced by Drew Bailey
Written by Luke Doolan
Starring Karl Beattie
Brendan Donoghue
Tara Morice
Music by François Tetaz
Cinematography Brad Shield
Edited by Luke Doolan
Release date
  • 15 January 2009 (2009-01-15) (United States)
Running time
Country Australia
Language English

Miracle Fish is a 2009 Australian short film. It was written, directed, and edited by Luke Doolan, and produced by Drew Bailey.[1] The film stars Karl Beattie, Brendan Donoghue and Tara Morice. It was nominated for Best Live Action Short at the 82nd Academy Awards.[2]


8 year old Joe (Karl Beattie) wakes up on his 8th birthday. His mum drops him off late to school, saying that there is a present in his lunch box. Feeling miserable, Joe goes through class and break time, being bullied at both turns. He finds that his present is a 'Miracle Fish,' a piece of plastic in the shape of a fish that you place in your hand and what it does determines your future.

Joe places it in his hand and it says that he is compassionate. The bullies appear and afterwards, Joe sneaks off to sick bay. He falls asleep until after 1:00 p.m.. He wanders around the school finding it completely abandoned. He plays around, writing on the walls, taking food from the canteen, skateboarding along the hallways. In the auditorium, he finds a book about alien abduction, and ponders if that is what happened to the students and teachers.

After some time, he hears running water and goes into the teachers' staffroom to find a tap has been turned on. He turns it off, and leaves the room, closing the door behind him, not noticing the bloody hand print on the back of it.

A short while later, he hears a phone ringing and goes into a classroom to investigate. He finds a teacher's phone in her desk and answers it to hear a stranger's voice on the other end. After a few moments, with the voice asking Joe who he is, it urges him to find a place to hide. It is too late though, as a man with a rifle enters the room with bloodstains on his clothes. Joe, not understanding the situation, asks the man if he is injured, and the man begins talking about how life is meant to be able to go in any direction you choose, but in reality it doesn't "You can't turn 65 cents into a dollar." Joe notices a laser dot on his forehead, and the man is quickly shot and killed by police who flood the room, grabbing up Joe, and checking that the man who took over the school and possibly killed a teacher is dead.


Character Actor
Joe Karl Beattie
Man Brendan Donoghue
Mum Tara Morice
Peter Angus Russo
Matt Jason Doric
Front Office Lady Eliza Logan
Teacher Cath Esposito
Peter Unwin/TRG Negotiator Kieran Darcy-Smith
TRG#1 Sebastian Dickins
TRG#2 Ashley Fairfield


The short film was shot over two and a half days. The first two days, Saturday and Sunday 18 and 19 October 2008, were filmed at Matraville Sports High School, the half day was filmed on Monday 20 October 2008 at Annandale North Public School with students from Class 4D volunteering to play both the extras in the school yard and in the classroom. The film was shot using the Red One camera at 4K recording format.


  1. ^ "Aussie pair hope for Oscars miracle". ABC News. ABC News (Australia). 8 March 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Miracle Fish". oscar.go.com. United States: ABC. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 

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