“It’s a bite-sized thriller with undeniably effective cinematic power.”

Vanity Fair

“Of the Live Action nominees, my favorite by far is MIRACLE FISH from Australia. The less said about it’s shocking plot the better, but it begins with an outcast little boy who comes to school on his birthday, is relentlessly teased by fellow students, hides out and falls asleep in the nurses office, and wakes up to an empty school giving him what he thinks is free reign to roam the halls and eat all the vending machine candy he can steal. Sounds harmless enough, but the payoff is like a kick straight to the gut. The entire program is worth seeing just to get to this one.”

Ain’t it Cool News

“In Miracle Fish, which was head and shoulders above the rest of the field in Aspen, Doolan introduces us to a shy young kid, tormented by his school yard mates because his mother is on welfare, who takes a nap during recess only to wake up in a completely abandoned school. The film envelopes us effortlessly in the mystery of where all the other students and faculty members have gone, trolling down hallways and through classrooms in graceful tracking shots reminiscent of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant. The film contains a haunting reveal concerning what has taken place that is as jolting and sublime as anything in the great Van Sant’s oeuvre.”

Brandon Harris

“Luke Doolan’s “Miracle Fish” …. screened at Sundance previously– no surprise given their surehanded styles and unimpeachable quality. “Fish”, a visual masterwork from Australia, follows a solitary eight-year-old on his birthday as he discovers his school mysteriously deserted. Spare, haunting, yet utterly crisp, it kept the audience riveted frame to frame.”

If You Could Say It in Words

“Another great short film was the surreal Australian “Miracle Fish.” The ominous shadows and camera work brought back memories of “The Shining.” In this light, director Luke Doolan has the potential to be another Stanley Kubrick.”


“Aussie writer/director Luke Doolan’s “Miracle Fish” is a surprisingly little film that quietly examines the ways in which the words we use and the actions we take can impact our everyday lives. Simultaneously magical and haunting, “Miracle Fish” is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final moments. “

The Independent Critic