Only two short films into their career, a pair of young Winnipeg filmmakers are already finding their work landing on the international film festival circuit.
Clarke Stockton and Ben Trudeau’s film Chronos was named an official selection of the 38th annual Boston Sci Fi Film Festival, held earlier this month.
"We’re very honoured to have it accepted," said Stockton, 25, a Charleswood resident and University of Manitoba film studies graduate.
The 12-minute film follows Tom, a young assassin, as he tracks down a power-hungry politician in possession of the film’s namesake, the Chronos, a mysterious device being used to further his power.
"He doesn’t know exactly what it does, but he’s trying to get it out of the wrong hands," Stockton said.
When Tom finds the device, he falls into a "dark temptation" to discover its power — a decision that puts him on the direct path to a deadly fate.
The film was shot sporadically between June and September last year, and on the cheap, too — for around $100 spent mostly on props, Stockton says, as the crew borrowed film equipment and actors volunteered their time.
Having such a small scale, novice project accepted into a long-standing genre film fest like the Boston Sci Fi, which began in 1976, is a step in the right direction for the duo’s budding careers, Stockton said.
"It confirms for Ben and myself that we have to be doing something right," he said.
"We may not write the sharpest dialogue, or know the most about cinematography, but at least we’re making a short that’s keeping people interested, and getting people to do what we wanted to them to do: which was to go ‘Woah, that was cool.’"
Stockton and Trudeau met in a screenwriting class at the U of M and instantly clicked because of their mutual science fiction interests.
The two filmed their first short, an action piece titled Cornered, in winter 2011, a self-taught lesson in special effects and visual style, Trudeau says.
The two are already working on another short film about time travel they hope to complete by the end of this spring.
While the duo has been using their company, Gritty Productions, to build up a portfolio of commercial work, the film fest selection is an encouraging shove up the filmmaking ladder, Trudeau said.
"A lot of what we’ve learned is self-taught,"said Trudeau, 22, who lives in St. Vital.
"Knowing we can get accepted into something fairly large, it pushes us even farther in what we’re doing and to . . . teach ourselves new things all the time."
To watch Chronos, visit http://grittyproductions.com.