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8 short films that are sure to disturb, provoke, and rattle the senses. From arthouse and sci-fi to a pair of disturbing character studies.

Following a violent crime of passion, a gentle young man descends into a tormented reality as he struggles to reconcile who he is and what he has become.

Director Biography - Rob Stanton-Cook

Rob Stanton-Cook was born in Townsville, but spent most of his childhood on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Raised in a film loving house-hold, his mother was an editor and father a Super 8 enthusiast, Rob’s aspirations for a life in film began at a young age.

After completing a Bachelor of Digital Media at UNSW College of Fine Arts, Rob following in his mothers foot steps, and started his career in the edit suite. Here he was learning but restless and quickly made the leap to directing.

In his last 10 years as a director Rob has moved from content to large scale brand campaigns, honing his style and craft. He has worked in Australia and abroad with International clients such as Wolf Blass, NRMA, PNC, Qantas, Swisse and HBF. He is an active member of the Directors Guild of America and is currently signed to Collider (AUS) and Joinery (US).

At the centre of all Rob’s work is the desire to tell stories which illicit emotion. Beautiful, heart-rendering and authentic tales which transport us. He’s also an explorer of the human condition, seeking out what drives us and how we interpret the world.

True to his nature of constant evolution, Rob is now venturing into the next stage of his career directing drama for the big screen. Taking inspiration from his new home in Tasmania, Rob currently has a feature film (Orbit) and another short film (Jennifer) in pre-production with Collider. 

Director Statement

We find ourselves at a point of change. The long-held ideas of 'being a man’ are being challenged. Truisms like ‘boys don’t cry’ or demands to ‘man up’ are being questioned in regards to the role they play in the development of young men. 

The #metoo movement was an inspiration for me, and as a young father of two girls, I wanted to support the conversation in a way that felt authentic to my experiences. To be a link in the chain of change. 

I wanted to explore the idea of generational hyper-masculinity, not to provide answers or solutions, but to simply leave open the question of how do we break this cycle. 

Kilter became my vessel for this exploration. 

The film is a multilayered, dramatic and poetic study of a young man’s mental decay in the aftermath of killing his abusive father. It aims to explore the line toxic masculinity draws in the sand. How it creates an environment that says if you’re not with us, you’re against us. Where you're either a man or you're not. 

The film is a cautionary tale that studies the physical and mental scarring a hyper-masculine environment can have on even the most gentle soul. That you reap what you sow, and that no flower can bloom in poisoned soil. 

It poses the thought that every one of us has a breaking point. No matter how rational and passive we believe ourselves to be. How would you reconcile your identity in the face of committing such violence? 

It’s a film about yearning for acceptance, and being free to explore who you are, unburdened by the stigma or labels of a hyper-masculine rulebook. 

The film aims to explore these themes against the bleak and engulfing backdrop of regional Tasmania. A place where, despite the vast emptiness, there’s nowhere to hide, and once a label is given, it sticks for life.

My desire is for the film to spark an internal dialogue within the viewer. To pose more questions than answers. By being purposefully ambiguous, I hope to give the audience the freedom to draw their own conclusions, based on their own experiences. And that those conclusions may spark conversations that would not otherwise have happened.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    12 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Premiere
    Canadian Premiere
  • Director
  • Producer
    Olivia Hantken
  • Cast
    Kirin J Callinan
  • Cinematographer
    Aaron Mclisky