Harrowing short film from Manchester director showcased at Belgian festival

A haunting production by a Mancunian filmmaker has been selected to appear at the prestigious Leuven International Short Film Festival in Belgium later this month.

Run, by Mat Johns, was chosen to be exhibited at the showcase event which takes place between November 28 and December 6.

The short film documents the tale of globe-trotting protagonist Sam, who makes new friends whilst taking time out to explore England and writes a letter home to his distant mother.

“I’m very honoured to have a film showing at Leuven,” Mat told MM. 

“It’s an amazing festival and if the opportunity arises I’d very much like to take a trip over and take in the whole festival. Leuven is supposed to be beautiful as well.”

The film was shot and edited in two days on a zero budget and also featured at the Filmonik Halloween KinoKabaret 2012.

The video can be viewed here, but please be aware that it contains graphic scenes of a violent and sexual nature.

The former University of Salford student has been fascinated by film since a young age and admitted it took a lot of time and experimenting to hone his craft.

“I got into film because I watched Terminator 2 when I was eight and that pretty much changed my view of film forever,” he added.

“It had an incredibly engaging story and so much colour and style. It’s still one of favourite films today. It’s beautiful.

“I’ve been making films for about 10 years, but I wasn’t any good for the first five of those.

“I feel like I’ve only really found my voice with story and style in the last few years, and I’ve collaborated much more.”

The filmmaker is no stranger to his work being acknowledged internationally, with his previous short film Kiss appearing at the New York Independent Film Festival 2013 and picking up a nomination at the American Online Film Awards 2014.

He admitted that he draws a lot of inspiration from across the Atlantic.

“I love so many film-makers, including Steven Spielberg, Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson,” he said.

“I love so many films, there are too many to list but Jaws has a special place for me. It’s a masterpiece. It has such great performances and dialogue.”

The 30-year-old also revealed his plans for the future, with further productions in the pipeline.

“The next thing on the list is to get the feature version of Run made,” he added.

“I’ve written it with Colin McCracken and we’re about ready to start sending it out to potential investors with our sales kit. It’s undergone some changes that make it stronger and a more explored piece.

“We are going for a relatively low budget but hopefully enough to give the film the production value and talent we are striving for.

“Colin and I have a couple of other scripts to develop as well – a vigilante film and a film set around an occult related kidnapping.

“Working together on the Run script was so satisfying and so much fun, we just want to keep making films.”

Video and image courtesy of Mat Johns via YouTube, with thanks.

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