Private Project

A Horse Called Possum

Evelyn and Papa live difficult, lonely lives on one of the many forested farms of 1930s rural Virginia. With almost empty stables, the recent passing of Mama, and a long-term injury for Evelyn, they both rely on Possum, their beloved horse. Disaster strikes one day when a rabid wolf wanders onto their property. Evelyn, her bad foot stuck under the tree stump she was helping move, struggles to cut Possum free from his harness. Even when freed, Possum stands his ground, protecting Evelyn and drawing the wolf away. Papa downs the wolf with his shotgun, but not before Possum gets bitten. Though Evelyn wants to travel for rabies medicine, Papa has made that trip before: for Mama. Papa knows it’s nearly hopeless, and despite Evelyn’s anger, convinces her to stay. Evelyn spends one last night with Possum. The next morning, when Papa prepares to put Possum down, a brokenhearted Evelyn steps forward to do it herself. The two separate, grieving the loss of one of their best friends. A short film created with the innovative spirit of independent filmmaking, Possum showcases excellent new talent while exploring the effects of difficult decisions on even the closest relationships.

  • Tori Layne
    Imagined, Hues, Vestige, A Year Ago Yesterday
  • Tori Layne
    Imagined, Hues, Vestige, A Year Ago Yesterday
  • Tori Layne
    Imagined, Hues, Vestige, A Year Ago Yesterday
  • Casey Breneman
    Key Cast
    Dead Birds, Shrink Wrapped, No Place to Rest
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 45 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Tori Layne

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Tori has traveled across the country and even across the world to work as a writer, director, and script supervisor. In her short but blossoming career, she has helped create several feature films and television shows, along with dozens of short films to date. She finds the process of creating truthful emotional moments fascinating, and strives to be a continual student, not only of filmmaking but of life.

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Director Statement

A Horse Called Possum comes from a deeper place for me than for other projects, just by its nature. The isolation of the story both in location and circumstance made it feel so small at the same time that it felt so big, which allowed me to focus in on the depths of anger, sadness, love, connection and disconnection that come with loss. But the true heartbreak of this story comes not from what happens to Evelyn and Papa, but the choice Evelyn makes in response. Evelyn chose to come into her own, independently of her father or horse, and lost some of her innocence as a price for her individuality. That, I think, is something every growing person can resonate with.