“You are born into a f*cked up world and you’ll die in a f*cked up world,” is the cheery way that “How are you today?” begins. This short film is definitely, definitely dark — and a few moments will hit you very close to home. But it manages to take some of the more depressing parts of modern life and give them a twist — when two very different characters meet and pair up.

The illustrations are bonkers and brilliant — both childlike and menacing, depending on the scene. The film is the brainchild of Sophie Markatatos, a Royal College of Art graduate who is making her mark in a big way. The film has made it into 30 festivals including Annecy, Edinburg International Film Festival, Zagreb, GLAS, Melbourne International Animation Festival, and Anima — and has a huge list of awards to its credit, showing that this young film maker is well on their way. I don’t want to give too much of it away, so if you have a few minutes and want something totally different, you can check out the whole film here:

From the aggressive, surreal birth to the sad goodbye, this film captures the isolation an downright confusion that so many of us feel. The tagline and title “How are you today?”, has the perfect inane ring to it that offsets the horrible things that are happening. And anyone who’s had to make small talk in an office elevator when all they really want to do it think about whether or not existence really is meaningless will relate. But there are still some glimmers of hope. Showing that different people — maybe even the most different of people — can come together to bring each other some light is the real heart of the short. And a reminder that we can all give each other some light in the darkness.