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Mouche and Carrot Top from "Dolls"
For the 1987 film by Stuart Gordon, see Dolls (1987 film).
For the 2002 film by Takeshi Kitano, see Dolls (film).

Dolls is a British short film written and directed by Susan Luciani, narrated by Charles Dance and starring Joanna Lumley and Denis Lawson. Broadcast on BBC and Sky TV, the film was officially selected to play in International film festivals in Los Angeles, Spain, San Francisco, Italy, Paris, Cyprus, Africa, and Japan. It was also shown at Roguerunner Screenings and at Cannes Film Festival 2006 and selected to feature as part of the British Society of Cinematographers' New Film Maker Night at Pinewood Studios.



Inspired by a story that appeared in a 1950s newspaper, this short film plays out a year in the life of a young girl, Mouche. Deemed too skinny to make a living at the Moulin Rouge, Mouche is cast out and saved from suicide by a group of puppets traveling from town to town performing street puppet shows for a few paltry francs.

She joins them on their journey and together they become quite an attraction earning more money than they have ever made. In turn, the puppets become Mouche’s beloved family, yet behind them lurks a cruel and abusive man who is desperately in love with her, “It would have all been so perfect if not for the puppeteer.” Mouche must make a decision, to stay for the love of the puppets or go to escape the terrible wrath of the puppeteer.


  • Susan Luciani - Writer/director
  • Lindsay Mcfarlane - Producer
  • Rick Mietkowski - Director of photography
  • Ben Foster - Music composer
  • Mark Maclaine - Sound engineer/ADR recordist
  • Jordana Finkel - Art director

(and others)


  • "I thought Dolls was just extraordinary. One of the keys of making short films, you want to create your own universe, have your own voice and this film has a spectacularly different significant, coloured voice. I’ve not seen a short film like it before.” - Jeremy Howe, Head of Short Films, BBC
  • "Extraordinary in its inventiveness and economy of light. The lighting evokes the mood perfectly." - Alex Thomson, BSC
  • "This film is captivating” - Zimbabwe International Film Festival
  • "Susan Luciani is an inventive and imaginative writer, very cinematic. Dolls is undeniably a vibrant and original short." - Film Four


  • Too Cold to Snow by British band Second Person (from their Chromatography album) is the main credits music for this film.
  • Dolls is shot entirely on steadicam as if it is one continuous shot. This method of shooting allows the audience to engage with the film without distractions of edit cuts.

External links



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