Written by Tom Sainsbury, directed by Kyan Krumdieck, and produced by Jo Raj & Canterbury’s own, Jessica Todd. This all-star team is seeking support via Boosted to make the short film called, The Push, which is filming in the stunning Canterbury region in April 2021. Screen CanterburyNZ sat down with Kyan Krumdieck to find out about the project and boosted campaign.
What is your project, The Push, about?
Dan and Tash are on a long multi-day tramp in the remote Southern Alps. Near the end of one day, Tash has a terrible shock. Someone was just pushed off that cliff! When Dan looks up all he sees is a distant figure. They rush to help the fallen person, but they can’t find any sign of anyone having fallen to their death.
Having only seen a distant silhouetted man, and no other evidence to support what Tash says she saw, Dan’s doubts fester. It’s getting dark and he insists they continue to the hut for the night. There is a single man waiting for them. Tash is convinced they are in the company of a murderer, and Dan is forced to decide what he really thinks is going on.
The scabs are ripped off the couple’s fundamental problems, revealing how inaction and disbelief can make you complicit in something terrible.
What was your involvement?
The Push is a story idea I had years ago back when we were brainstorming ideas for a class project back at the NZ Broadcasting School at Ara. We ended up making a different film, but that nugget of an idea stuck with me. Years later the subtext occurred to me, that it was really about who you choose to believe when you only have their word to go on, and what that says about who you are.
I pitched the idea to Producer Jo Raj who loved it, and that's when we approached Tom Sainsbury to write the script. I've been wanting to collaborate more with writers than I've been able to until now. This all got timed perfectly because immediately after finishing this script, Tom and I then got to work together on Sextortion last year.
Who is the intended audience for this project?
This is my big swing to try and get into big International Film Festivals. It's going to be a tense, moody drama where more is said in tense looks and silences than in the dialogue. This is for people who like Scandi-noir, true crime, the NZ landscape and cerebral cinema that makes you feel uneasy and unsure about what is morally right.
Will you submit the project for competition or funding rounds?
In 2019 we were shortlisted for the NZ Film Commission's Fresh Shorts round administered by Script to Screen. It was an awesome experience getting selected and getting to go through the Development Lab, however we narrowly missed out on Production funding from them. We're pretty much exclusively relying on people's generosity to fund the production of the film.
What makes this project special?
The best version of this film could really only be made in the Southern Alps. I'm so excited that we have teamed with an old friend, Christchurch Producer Jess Todd and her really top tier crew. Kathleen Burns is one of my favourite performers and I can't wait to collaborate with her again but now getting to show off her dramatic talents in addition to her comedic ones we've shown so far.
I think after years of development we have refined this concept down into a very simple, yet powerful story that will linger in people's minds after they see it.
What was the timeframe for this project?
The Boosted Campaign launched on Sunday the 28th of February and is running for 3 weeks until the 21st of March.
Assuming we get our funding, we will then be quickly turning around and shooting the film between April 8-12th. (COVID prevailing!)
What part of this production has a Canterbury connection?
Almost the entire crew and cast are Christchurch based or raised, with only 2 token Aucklanders in the mix. We are shooting on gorgeous station land in the Ashburton Lakes / Mt Somers region.