The Object Lesson

From writer/director F. Theodore Elliott comes THE OBJECT LESSON, an hypnotic drama about the secret bond of sisters and the forces of the outside world that threaten to tear them apart.

Briar and Belle live alone in a quiet house on a quiet street. No-one ever visits, and they never leave. Things have always been this way and the two girls know they always will be. Day after day, they live their gentle lives in simple solitude, filling their endless time with childish make-believe, household chores, and the gentle enjoyment of a sister’s secret company. They are happy.

Belle, the older of the two, works to keep their simple house a home. She does the laundry, cooks the meals and keeps protective watch over her younger sister, Briar. More carefree than Belle, Briar spends her days immersed in elaborate fantasy and play, the sheltered and simple life Belle has provided for her having gifted her the free spirit of a child.

But fun and games are only fun for so long, and as the wanderings of Briar’s mind begin to lead her thoughts into the unknown, the pressure of the world outside the windows begins to push in on their sealed safety and threatens to divide the sisters forever.

Strikingly shot and featuring stunning performances by its two leads, THE OBJECT LESSON is a surreal and artistic reinvention of the suburban-gothic genre, exploring the boundaries between the playful fantasies of childhood and the cold realities of the real adult world.

  • F. Theodore Elliott
  • F. Theodore Elliott
  • Isabel Madrid
  • Salomé Grace Neely
    Key Cast
  • Amy Atkinson
    Key Cast
  • Shannon Doughton
  • K. Hoof
  • DeNoize Green
    Principal Sound Work
    Three Wise Cousins, Hibiscus & Ruthless
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Suburban-Gothic
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 11 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 19, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 NZD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - F. Theodore Elliott

Francis Theodore Elliott attended South Seas Film & Television School in Auckland, New Zealand in 2011, graduating with a diploma in Script Writing & Directing.
After graduating, Theodore worked as a production manager, 1st AD and cinematographer on many New Zealand Indie films before striking out to write and direct his own features.
THE OBJECT LESSON is his first feature length film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

THE OBJECT LESSON is a film directly inspired by my thoughts and feelings about growing up in a suburban environment. As soon as the the story of these two characters walked into my head I knew that it would be a fantastic vehicle to express the abstract emotions of being a kid growing into adulthood in suburbia in a way that was evocative, engaging and (most importantly) relatable for the audience.

The experiences and emotions of the characters are directly pulled from my own memories and feelings of those bored weekends and long summer holidays where you have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it in; when every day was the same and it felt like life will be this way forever.

Having now completed the film I’m so proud of the work everyone on the cast and crew has done to bring this vision to life so vividly and successfully.
THE OBJECT LESSON is truly an evocative and expressive film. One that perfectly illustrates a common yet hard to describe experience and I can’t wait for audiences to get a chance to relate to these emotions on the screen.

- F. Theodore Elliott