Film School Shorts



An overachiever named Gwen is obsessed with eggs. Her passion has led to four consecutive wins for "Best Dish" at the Blue Briar Neighborhood Fair. Gwen enjoys being the reigning fair queen until a crushing loss in the Spring of 2009 steals her thunder. Will she reclaim her title this year? A film by Madeline Snapp.

AIRED: July 26, 2019 | 0:08:43

- [Announcer] Film School Shorts is made possible by

a grant from Maurice Kanbar,

celebrating the vitality and power of the moving image.

Additional funding for Gwen

was provided by the Bridges-Larson Foundation.

- [Narrator] Welcome to the Blue Briar neighborhood

with dusk only just rising

no creature dares awake from their slumber.

But in this quaint mildly outdated home,

there is no such thing as normalcy.

(light orchestral music)

This home's inheritor has just returned

from her early visit to the coop

with her prized Rhode Island Red eggs.

(light orchestral music)

Beautiful, odd, overachieving.

This is Gwen.

(egg cracks)

She holds a singular and intense passion

for the greatest gift mankind has ever been handed

since before our species walked the earth.


(dish tapping)

With spring well underway,

quickly approaching is the Blue Briar Neighborhood Fair,

a fantastic romp where children frolic

in freshly sprouted flora,

artists of all kind share their proudest work,

and neighbors enjoy the company of one another.

(light orchestral music)

Gwen takes the event a bit more seriously than this however.

She has used her unique and precise passion for eggs

to bring home the coveted Best Dish Prize

four years in a row.


A hobby worth putting one's pride in.

There are ten types of chickens that will lay the most eggs,

each unique depending on the chicken.

There's Leghorn, Plymouth, Sussex, Buff Orpington,

Barnavelder, Marans, Hamburg, Ancona, Hybrids,

and, of course,

the Rhode Island Red.

(light orchestral music)

(chickens cooing)

Choosing the right breed

is the single most important decision

for an egg connoisseur.

Gwen treasures her beloved and rambunctious ladies

as if they were her own children.

(chickens clucking)

Gwen's love for the art of the egg

is closely followed by a strict routine.

Each evening, once her hen's are roosting,

Gwen makes a visit to the nearby corner store

to purchase ingredients

for her next 24 hours in the kitchen.

(light orchestral music)

(eggs simmering)

As a self-proclaimed god of the culinary world,

Gwen cannot risk the luxury of time off.

Gwen hasn't made or consumed a dish without eggs,

in seven and a half years.

She doesn't mind, though, each meal is practice.

- You be careful, that's how your father got cracked!

(old-time cartoon music)


- [Narrator] Our dear Gwen

hasn't always been a champion, though.

There was the spring of 2009.


When that amateur, Eugene Albert,

earned Best Dish for his excentric dill pickles.

Some do not fare well with failure.


The queen of the Blue Briar Fair had fallen

like Humpty Dumpty from his wall.

She was in pieces, a loser.

Gwen fell into a deep depression.

But, the light in her incubator hadn't quite flickered out,

for fate led Gwen to another, greater, loser.

One who didn't quite mind being a loser at all.


Gwen's opposite, but other half.

His support is always near by,

and he is no less than elated to share it.

An illustrator, with the fire to create,

Nate has been turned down from every art competition

in the continental United States.

Every single year.

(light orchestral music)

The time has arrived,

with her confidence and her abilities fully restored,

Gwen must pull out all the stops to achieve a victory

in her return to the fair.

(light orchestral music)

Focus is of the utmost importance.

(old-time cartoon music)

A bit of routine is in order before her uncertain return.

(old-time cartoon music)

We've now reached what one woman might consider

the most important day of the year,

the Blue Briar Neighborhood Fair.

(light orchestral music)

Neighbors from as far as the mouth of the Crooked Creek

have ventured out to the fair

to display their prides and passions.

And, of course, participate

in a little friendly competition.

(light orchestral music)

Even if they know they won't be winning that competition.

(light orchestral music)


(ominous orchestral music)

(soft orchestral music)

There's something poetic in the calm of being humbled.

In the acceptance of change,

where change has never been invited.

And the understanding that sometimes

it's okay to allow yourself the simplicity of peace.

(light orchestral music)

(flute centered orchestral music)

- [Announcer] Film School Shorts is made possible by

a grant from Maurice Kanbar,

celebrating the vitality and power of the moving image.

Additional funding for Gwen was provided by

the Bridges-Larson Foundation.

(upbeat techno music)


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