Note: Due to licensing agreements, some European countries may not be able to view this National Film Board of Canada film.

A woman follows a red thread across the sky to find a small child. Ever-moving forward in time, the parent and child grow and change in the ways they need each other. The thread is always there growing longer, until one day that connection between them evolves into something new.

Threads is a wordless animated short about their bond by Oscar-winning director Torill Kove. The film’s piano and trumpet score is by Kove’s husband Kevin Dean. More from the always excellent Short of the Week:

“Threads is Kove’s 4th short film in a directing career spanning nearly 20 years. Her first dialogue-less work, the film is a poignant, tear-inducing depiction of the mother-daughter bond using the symbolic device of attached threads—dramatizing the natural life-cycle from utter closeness when the child is a baby, to severing the thread and achieving independence as an adult. Kove, the mother of an adopted child herself, weaves her personal experience into the piece as the film depicts a child who is ‘found’, and those moments where the initial connection forms are among the film’s most powerful.”




The National Film Board of Canada has shared the award-winning film online (excluding some European countries due to licensing) in partnership with Firefly Books to promote a children’s picture book version of the film. You can find it at Firefly Books or on Amazon.

Related reading: NFB’s interview with the Norwegian-born director and animator: Drawing intangible connections.

Follow this short with a few more: My Mum is an Airplane, The Red Thread (赤い糸), Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, and The Distance I Can Be From My Son. Plus, more videos about parenting.

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