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  1. Full length short film.


Director Alison Maclean's surreal suburban nightmare burst onto the international scene with the same impact as the hairy monster from the plughole in the film. Starring a young Theresa Healey, the intense black and white short follows a home alone woman who struggles with a disturbing new arrival. Kitchen Sink debuted in Cannes in 1989 (the first New Zealand short to win selection), and won multiple awards worldwide. It is arguably the most successful short film to come from NZ; it screened as part of a 2005 'best of' Sundance retrospective at MoMA.


Reflections on Kitchen Sink by Alison Maclean 06.07.2010

I respond well to assignments. When NZFC sent out an open call for ideas for a series of shorts called 'Bonsai Epics', I thought ... something should happen to a woman alone at home. I thought ...

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Comments (8)

 Bounce Lau

Bounce Lau

Wow, this film freaked me out!



One of the best short film i ever seen, just seen now completely am awestruck. Brilliant film.. Want to develop this short into feature film



Thanks for posting this guys! I am having a Halloween movie night and this will be the shortfilm to start of the event. Kia Ora from Norway!



I first saw this film on TV back in the 90s and it blew me away then. Watching it again now it hasn't lost any of its charm. What a winner.

 James Kalmakoff

James Kalmakoff | website

Totally spooky -- had to press the pause button several times just to make me feel like I could control the thing.

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Related Titles (25)


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Actual kitchen skink realism from Alison Maclean

Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 NZ Short Film Collection
 Kiwi Shorts at Cannes

ScreenTalk  See all interviews › 

Related interviews:

 Alison Maclean: A gothic crush…

Canadian-born to New Zealand parents, writer and director Alison Maclean helmed one of the most successful NZ Film Commission-funded short films of all time...


One of the best films ever made in New Zealand - or anywhere for that matter. 
I love the forced economy of the short film - the discipline of compressing a story/idea to it's most essential, while creating the illusion that you have all the time in the world. 
Making Kitchen Sink changed everything for me as a young New Zealand filmmaker, and precipitated my move to New York. 
It's a dark little fable about fear and desire - about a woman who re-fashions a monster into a man, and finds herself falling for her creation. In some sense I see it as a Pygmalion-type story, with the genders reversed. 
The hit of the [International] Festival [of Short Films] is Alison Maclean's gloriously outrageous Kitchen Sink, which brings to mind David Lynch's Eraserhead, in its creepy ingenuity and stunning black and white imagery.  


1990 Oporto International Film Festival
Best Short Film

1990 Golden Gate Awards, San Francisco
Special Jury Award (Short Narrative)

1989 Festival de Cannes
Selection for competition

1989 Melbourne Film Festival
Certificate of Merit

1989 Sydney Film Festival
Audience Award for Best Short Film

1989 Listener Film and Television Awards
Best Short Film