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.

Director: Peter Werner.
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.

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