Teacup, The

As this short student film opens, a father is crafting a handmade teacup. He proudly gives it as a gift to his son. The son grows to be a man whose young son faithfully tends the cup and the tea ceremony. When the boy carelessly throws a stone at a perching bird, he fatally hits the bird and it falls to the ground. The boy is amazed and upset. He takes the cherished teacup, fills it with water, and heads back to the woods. Sounds of birds surround him and in fear, he drops the cup, shattering it. With humility he repairs the broken cup and places it outside as a bird feeder where he lovingly watches as the birds celebrate his gift.

  • Starring: Grandmaster Wonik Yi, Sean Ames and Jing-yu Gu
  • Director(s): Matthew Pristave
  • Producer(s): Matthew Pristave
  • Screenwriter(s): Matthew Pristave
  • Release Date: Saturday, October 26, 2002
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

About The Birds

Live birds appear in two different scenes in this film. In the first scene, the bird sits on the branch of a tree as a boy throws a rock at it. Actually, the young man threw the rock at an empty field - no bird was present. At the end of the film, a few birds eat the birdseed that the boy has put in a piece of the broken teacup. Both scenes were filmed in the birds' natural habitat; none were brought in for filming.

The fallen bird on the ground that the boy touches with a stick is a dead bird. The filmmaker, Mathew Pristave, contacted the Austin City Nature Center several days before filming began and explained why he needed a dead bird. The center preserves birds that have died of natural causes so they can be studied. They contacted Matthew when they obtained a bird and he picked it up, filmed the scene, then returned the bird to the nature center.

About The Film Maker

The Teacup was featured at the 2001 Burbank International Children's Film Festival. The filmmaker, Matthew Pristave is the first recipient of AHA's Humane Voice Award for this compassionate and elegant short film. Pristave is a University of Texas film student who submitted his film as one of 450 entries to the festival. AHA participated on the panel of jurors and was impressed by the quality of the work, its message and the fact that Pristave filmed sequences with birds in a humane and responsible way.