Sad Hill Productions

These are the film projects conceived, written, directed, and finished by Sad Hill Media — in other words, the movies we spearheaded ourselves. Full versions available upon request.

 
 

The Martyr (2016) [Work in Progress]

A long night on a film set gets longer, as an intensely committed but emotionally unstable independent director races the clock to find the perfect performance for a crucial scene. As Milton Tibbons demands take after take, his cast and crew begin to lose their patience with their director's outbursts, until the director makes an emotional disclosure that pushes his set to the point of boiling over.

At once a nervy character study and a darkly comedic satire of independent film sets, The Martyr uses the baffled faces of the crew and a vigorous central performance by Thomas Nicholson to create an atmosphere of high-wire tension and uneasy humour.

 

Lifeguard (2015)

Over the course of two days, a lifeguard (Meredith Hama-Brown) stationed at English Bay endures an existential crisis. Largely foregoing dialogue, Devan Scott and Will Ross’ formally controlled character study skilfully unfolds through comic missteps and well-appointed ellipses, stoking its taciturn protagonist’s frustration and setting the stage for an unexpected climactic confrontation.

VIFF Official Selection '15

 
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We Three Heathens (2015) [Documentary Feature]

A quest in the form of a feature film, We Three Heathens follows three secular filmmakers — Devan Scott, Will Ross, and Daniel Jeffery — as they take their cameras along with them on an ancient pilgrimage: the Camino de Santiago. As the three walk, their cameras probe ever-deeper into each other and inward, and the physical and psychological hardships of walking the trail day-in and day-out reveals their faults and insecurities with both humour and suffering.

We Three Heathens journeys through the melange of cultures and personalities on the Camino with curiosity and a formally energetic eye for details. As the journey moves nearer and nearer its end, the contradictions between the spiritual inheritance of the old world and the secular lifestyles of the new confuse and complicate the search for meaning. As it draws towards its surprising conclusion, We Three Heathens maintains its rigorous dissection of modernized religion and a humanist tenderness for all those who cross each other's paths.

 

 

Moonland (2015)

A short documentary about an almost-empty small town and the people left in it, Moonland documents the yearly Moonrise Film Festival — and its sparse attendance — in the town of Wells, BC, population 250.

Imbuing its black and white cinematography with a tongue-in-cheek miserablism, Moonland is both a nostalgic lamentation of a diminishing community and a gentle satire of small-town stereotypes of ruin and loneliness.

 
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The Bottom of My Heart (2014)

A young man breaks down in the grip of depression and anxiety. He stops answering his girlfriend's calls. He starts taking pills. Nothing works. As things get worse and worse, he turns to his family for help and advice, but it may already be too late...

Accomplished entirely through close ups, The Bottom of My Heart explores and empathizes with a world of desolate isolation (no human faces are ever shown), and works both as an intimate study of an unseen character and a rumination on the alienation caused by labyrinthine medical bureaucracies

*Moonrise FF Audience Award Winner: Experimental Film

 

Paradiso (2013)

It's Armageddon. Cain Tibbons is sent to heaven, while his brother is about to be dropped into hell for all eternity. Teaming up with a frustrated St. Peter, Cain sets out to save his brother. An ambitious, high-strung, Python-esque joyride through the annals of the God system, Paradiso strikes a surprising balance between the gravity and the absurdity of the chase.

TIFF Official Selection '13
NSI Online Film Festival Official Selection '14