Wasp, starring Natalie Press (My Summer Of Love) and Danny Dyer, follows a caring but wayward single mother as she struggles to care for her kids while also going out to meet a man she fancies. Andrea Arnold, from the Home Counties of England, began life as an actress before moving behind the camera and has made several features, including Red Road and the critically acclaimed Fish Tank.
Two Soldiers by Aaron Schneider (2003) (US) (40m)
The Academy has been rewarding longer short films for most of the last decade, and Two Soldiers is an extreme example. However, it is to its credit that it does not feel particularly long. Set during WWII, it is a touching account of a young boy who wants to join his brother in the "war at Pearl Harbour". It's very American but a great performance by Ron Perlman (aka Hellboy) makes you more likely to cry than anything else by the end.
Election Night by Anders Thomas Jensen (1998) (Denmark) (11m)
Election Night (Valgaften in Danish) is a short comedy drama by Danish filmmaker Andres Thomas Jenson, best known now as a writer (he scripted The Duchess). It follows the last minute attempts of the liberal Peter to vote in Denmark's general election. He has to put up with a series of xenophobic taxi drivers but remains lost in the politically correct maze even after he reaches his destination.