Stutterer (film)

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Stutterer film poster.png
Film poster
Directed byBenjamin Cleary
Produced bySerena Armitage
Shan Christopher Ogilvie
Written byBenjamin Cleary
StarringMatthew Needham
Eric Richard
Chloe Pirrie
Edited byBenjamin Cleary
Release date
July 8, 2015
(Galway Film Fleadh)
Running time
12 minutes
Budget€5,500 (estimated)

Stutterer is a short drama film written and directed by Benjamin Cleary[1] and produced by Serena Armitage and Shan Christopher Ogilvie.[2]


Greenwood, a lonely typographer, makes a phone call to discuss a bill issue, but his stutter keeps him from getting his words out and he is hung up on. Later, in a conversation with his online girlfriend Ellie on Facebook, Ellie says she has a surprise for Greenwood and will tell him the next day.

In public, Greenwood makes "snap judgement" observations about strangers he sees, clearly speaking the thoughts inside his head. While walking to his father's house, he practices in his head a quote he wants to speak to his father. While playing a game with him, he's finally able to get the quote out, albeit slowly, and his father is pleased. Later that night, Ellie nervously messages Greenwood and lets him know she is in London for a week and wants to meet him in person. Greenwood, on hold to attempt to deal with his bill problem still, doesn't respond, fearing that he would have to show her he has a stutter.

The next day, Greenwood is at his father's home and his father is on the phone arguing with the company about communicating with his son about his bill. Ellie sends another message, sad that Greenwood has not replied. He begins to craft a response with a made up excuse as to why he can't meet her but changes his mind and doesn't reply.

The next morning, Greenwood begins learning sign language, pretending to be deaf to avoid speaking, though in his head he clearly answers people and wishes he could talk to them. He later has a moment of clarity and responds to Ellie, telling her he would love to meet her. That evening while waiting for a bus and nervously waiting for a reply, Greenwood intervenes when a man is attempting to assault a woman. The results of the intervention are seen when Greenwood has a bandage across his nose.

That night, while lonely and practicing his sign and waiting for a reply from Ellie, Greenwood makes a snap judgment on himself, Greenwood observes that he's a poor communicator and is full of self-pity. But just as he's about to go to sleep, he hears the alert of a message reply. The reply isn't shown, but Greenwood looks nervous and pleased. The next day he's shown getting ready and then traveling to see her, all the while practicing what he will say to Ellie in his head.

Once he arrives, standing across the street, he witnesses as a stranger attempts to speak to Ellie from behind. She does not respond until he taps her shoulder and she turns to sign to him, showing that she is deaf. She finally makes eye contact with Greenwood and they both smile. She finally waves and signs to ask him to cross the street. He smiles and nods as the screen fades to black.


Critical reception[edit]

Stutterer won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2016 88th Academy Awards.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
Academy Awards[3] February 28, 2016 Best Live Action Short Film Stutterer Won
Aesthetica Short Film Festival[4] November 8, 2015 Best Drama Stutterer Won
Crested Butte Film Festival October 2, 2016 Best Short Narrative Stutterer Won
DC Shorts Film Festival[5] September 20, 2015 Audience Award Stutterer Won
Irish Film & Television Academy[6] April 9, 2016 Best Short Film Stutterer Won
London Film Critics' Circle[7] January 17, 2016 Best Short Film Stutterer Won


  1. ^ "North Yorkshire movie Stutterer lands Oscar chance". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  2. ^ "Serena Armitage & Shan Christopher Ogilvie Discuss Stutterer". Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  3. ^ a b Johnson, Zach (January 14, 2016). "Oscars 2016 Nominations: Complete List of Nominees". E! Online. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  4. ^ Mercer, David (2016-02-29). "Oscar win for short film Stutterer produced by North Yorkshire filmmaker". The Press (York). Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  5. ^ Hutchinson, Charles (2015-11-30). "Irish director Benjamin Cleary's short film 'Stutterer' shortlisted for 2016 Oscar". Irish Film and Television Network. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  6. ^ "IFTA". Irish Film & Television Academy. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Mercer, David (2016-01-18). "Saoirse Ronan wins best actress award at London Critics' Circle Film Awards". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2016-02-29.

External links[edit]