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What to know:
CHIPS is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 5-18
14 minutes
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CHIPS cover image
Through heartbreak comes comfort and adventure in an unusual manner! Chips captures the story of an upsetting situation which leads us to a very exciting experience purely by chance. I especially enjoyed it as it is set in a quaint Scottish seaside village and reminds me, as a Scot, of summer holidays up north.

The story follows a young girl who has recently lost her grandfather. She is reminiscing through touching his ashes from the urn and is called for dinner. When she cleans her fingers in her pet gold fish's bowl something magical happens.

I like the creativity behind the storyline. I also love the unexpected twist of the talking goldfish and the contrast between the girl being sad and upset at the funeral to being excited to come home from school every day to see Chips, the gold fish.

I like the camera angles and the bird's eye view of the beautiful Scottish scenery. The costumes are in keeping with the story and its events. This is set in a fishing village in Scotland. It captures the beautiful scenery and village life very realistically. There is a contrast in music which helps us to understand how the main character, Seana, is feeling. Seana, the young heartbroken girl, is played by newcomer, Sophie Lawson. Her performance is very believable when talking and interacting with her gold fish, and emotional when at the funeral. Chips, the gold fish, is voiced by Peter Mullan, and is one of my favorite characters. I love the unexpected twist when he can talk, it shows imagination. Peter Mullan (Chips) has been in Braveheart, Harry Potter amongst numerous other productions spanning over 30 years. Sarah McCardie (Alisa, the mum) is known for These Foolish Things and Big City Park.

The message of the story is that you can use your imagination to relive happy memories. It also highlights to me the importance of always being kind as you never know what's around the corner.

My favorite part of the film is when she hears her grandfather whistling and turns around to see no one there; she continues to walk and hears it again. This time she realizes that it's the gold fish.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, plus adults. It is a very family friendly film. This could be used as an educational film to assist children who are grieving. Reviewed by Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The short film, Chips is very heartfelt and made me feel as if I was inside the story. The ending is very surprising.

The story is about a young girl who unexpectedly loses her grandpa. When she feeds her grandfather's ashes to her goldfish, Chips, he talks! It's a catharsis for her as she finally can get the feelings out that she has been waiting to express.

The storyline is a bit bumpy; it doesn't make a lot of sense at some points. It gives off a certain message because of the settings, for example, when she is in the rain or at the river. The camera quality is really excellent, from the long shots to the close-ups. I especially love some of the shots with the fish and the girl. This film is from the UK and the shots in the town look very true to a small village on the sea. The background music is well selected and adds to the tone of the film. When the fish begins to talk, that is amazingly realistic. The actors all are quite delightful, particularly the Sarah McCardie who plays the girl. But also Sophie Lawson, who plays her mom is also excellent and, my favorite is Peter Mullan who voices the fish, Chips. My favorite scene is when the girl takes her fish/grandfather on an outing. The quality is probably the highest film quality I have ever seen for a short film from the lighting, to the camera work, the sets, the acting - all of it. I love the ending!

The message: Sometimes you just need a little imagination.

I give this short film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, also adults. Reviewed by Ava H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

In this moving and playfully fantastical drama, a grieving 10-year-old girl discovers that when she accidentally feeds her late grandfather's ashes to her goldfish 'Chips', he talks. BAFTA and Emmy nominated Scottish actor Peter Mullan voices Chips. Winner of the 2019 ARRI Alexa Challenge with Directors UK.
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