The Art of Waiting (2001)

DV, 30 min.

The Art of Waiting was Cheryl’s first professionally shot narrative short film. It won Best Short at the Malta International Film Festival.

Logline: An aspiring circus clown falls for an enigmatic violinist in this quirky romantic comedy about imagining the possibilities beyond hope and disappointment.

Cast: Mathew Blair, Opal, Billy DuSell, Bernardo Verdugo, Evonne Kezios
Writer/Director: Cheryl Slean
Producer: L. Danielle Villegas
Director of Photography: Mira Ainbinder
Production Designer: Crystal Ramos
Editors: Cheryl Slean, Fiona Otway
Composer & Sound Designer: Christina Agamanolis
Additional Music: Igor Khramov & Limpopo; Los Pochos

Original format: miniDV, NTSC 30p
Screening formats: BetaSP, miniDV, DVD

Art of Waiting Synopsis

In this offbeat romantic comedy short, Arthur (Mathew Blair) dreams of becoming a circus clown, and though he’s too old for this aspiration, he studies diligently with retired circus performer Billy (Billy duSell). One day, while working on the street as a giant bag of french fries, Arthur meets enigmatic Willow (Opal) and is immediately enchanted. When he helps Billy move to a new house, he discovers Willow lives nearby, and begins a naive pursuit. Young Willow is something of an eccentric: she plays violin (though “not for people”) and recites poetry at will, and while she is bright and talented, heartbreak has left her stuck in a rut of skepticism and despair. It is Art’s spontaneous, generous heart that finally cracks her open and shows her, as she quotes from T.S. Eliot, “the hope is all in the waiting.”

Official Festival Selections

Thunderbird Film Festival
San Antonio Film Festival
Big Bear International Film Festival
Seattle Underground Film Festival
Malta International Film Festival

Other Screenings

Kodak Discovery Series
Festival of Independents (PBS)


Golden Knight award for Best Short Film, Malta International Film Festival