In the Region of Ice (1976)


In this American Film Institute-subsidized short subject, Fionnula Flanagan plays a sharp-tongued but compassionate nun, while Peter Lempert is cast as a sullen, emotionally disturbed boy. The title refers to the “thawing” process that occurs when the nun attempts to break through Lempert’s wall of silence.

Directors: Peter Werner, Andre R. Guttfreund.
Writers: Joyce Carol Oates (short story), Peter Werner.
Stars: Fionnula Flanagan, Peter Lampert, Vance Colvig Jr., John Durren, Kate Murtagh, Shirley Slater, Malachi Throne.

1977 Academy Awards – Winner of an Oscar for Best Short Film, Live Action.


Note: One of the most difficult to find Oscar winner shorts, turned up on Vimeo recently, quality is pretty good but it has Spanish subtitles hardcoded, if anyone out there has a better copy without subs please email me, I’d love to upgrade it with a clean copy. Thank you.

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  1. Vidor
    September 4, 2021

    Terrific choice to add to the website. This site has been invaluable for my efforts to watch Oscar-nominated short films.

  2. Jonathan Shapiro
    September 5, 2021

    WOW! Thank you so much! Always wanted to see this Oates adaptation

  3. Tveitt Irgens
    September 6, 2021

    This film contains the sickest and most twisted interpretations of The Merchant of Venice imaginable, from both the nun and the psychopatic “boy”. Is even the nun’s “explanation” of the play really in the Oates story, or was it put there by Werner and Guttfreund? Just incredible…. anyway I guess they had some friends on the Academy board.

    We just had to wait a year for something worse: Equus.

    Lovely to see Fionnula Flanagan! I had forgotten about her. But I liked/like her very much.

  4. Paul Curran
    January 12, 2022

    My dad is in this movie – the first scene as Fr. Flanagan. I’d always heard of this growing up as a movie he’d been in, and finally found it.

  5. Andre Guttfreund
    June 13, 2022

    Why is my name not on your credits listed? Peter and I both proud of our total collaboration , so I will also inform him…. I don’t mind your having pirated it, even if it’s the copy I translated and subtitled so that my country El Salvador , and Spanish speakers, could also enjoy it, but I this is a film by both of us, as Director and Producer collaborating from start to finish….. Make this change please, and thus reflect both Oscar winners….Also , while “subsidized” by AFI, both Peter and I invested an additional 5 thousand dollars ( above the AFI grant of 10 thousand, to finish it as we wanted…..

    • Jon W.
      June 13, 2022

      Andre, my apologies, I usually use the credits that I find on IMDb but looks like for this one I just used what shows up on Google, only Werner is listed as the director there, see here: I just added your name.
      If you or Peter wish to see this short film removed from the site simply email me to and I will take it down, no problem. It’s a really great thing what you did to subtitle this film so that your people could also watch it and understand it, I don’t know if it was you who uploaded it on Vimeo but if you did thank you, it was a great surprise when my friend sent me a link for it, we didn’t didn’t held much hope of ever finding it since it seemed very very hard to find, it was an amazing day.
      Thanks again and sorry that I didn’t include you in the original post, I didn’t do it on purpose.

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