Late one evening in a Westminster bar, journalist Will Hewitt meets no-nonsense Deputy Finance Minister Pippa Thomas for what begins as a simple interview. Early exchanges spark fireworks as both begin to reveal their dangerous hidden intentions — proving that once the truth is uncovered, there’s no going back.

  • Patrick Walsh
  • Patrick Walsh
  • Elisabeth Hopper
  • James Northcote
  • Hattie Hodgson
  • James Floyd
    Key Cast
  • Fiona Gillies
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Political Thriller
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 22, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Washington DC Shorts Fest
    Washington DC
    United States
    September 9, 2023
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 1.4 Film Awards
    United Kingdom
    Best New Director
  • Film Shortage
    Top 10 of 2018
  • Vimeo Staff Pick

    Staff Pick
Director Biography - Patrick Walsh

Patrick is a writer and director with a background in commercial, music video and film editing, having worked on projects for such directors as Jonathan Glazer, Tom Hooper, Derek Cianfrance, Ruben Fleischer, Emmanuel Lubezki and Matthew Vaughn.

His first short film Ostrich won Best Shorts of 2018 on Film Shortage, garnered a Vimeo Staff Pick and saw him nominated as Best New Director at the 1.4 Film Awards 2018.

Covid-19 political thriller This Fortress Built by Nature was released in 2020, followed by WWI drama A Long Way Home, in partnership with the Royal British Legion and War Child.

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Director Statement

I love political conspiracy thrillers. Dark rooms, whispered conversations, ruthless power plays; our worst fears as citizens realised in the daunting sense of one-person-against-the-system. I wanted to apply the classical filmmaking of Alan Pakula, Gordon Willis and Sydney Pollack’s 1970s paranoia thrillers (All The President’s Men, The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor) to a contemporary political story, and a genre that’s been lacking a British perspective in recent years. Set in modern Westminster, Ostrich takes on the biggest corruptor of democracy - big money.
It’s scary, daunting subject matter worthy of newspaper articles, books, documentaries and feature length films; Ostrich distills the key themes and facts into a bitesize, unfussy snapshot of a complex and multifaceted topic - made approachable in the guise of a political thriller.

I started writing Ostrich before Brexit, before Trump, before the gut-punch sense of dread every time a news alert pops up on our phones in the middle of the night. It seemed a fanciful exploration of very real political and financial issues, but in the maelstrom that has been the last eighteen months of global news, I feel our dark pessimism wasn’t entirely unwarranted.

An unfathomable amount of passion and hard work by a legion of talented people went into the making of this short film. As a first-time writer-director, I’m indebted to the expertise and skills of dozens of artists and technicians who came together to make a film that had something to say about democracy, and we share our work with gratitude.