AFI CONSERVATORY PRESENTS

KISSY & THE SHARK

STORY

In this dystopian future Kissy finds a shark washed up on the beach on the way home from school. It’s mouth has become entangled with fishing wire and it is suffocating on land. She attempts to drag it back out to sea but both she and the shark become entangled in fishing wire and plastic matter. Upon realizing that she cannot return the shark to the ocean and that without help the shark will die, Kissy decides that in order to save the shark she has no other choice but to take it back to her house. More...

DIRECTORS STATEMENT

KISSY is a social realist fairytale, a contemporary view of a future which feel’s worryingly familiar and plausible. KISSY explores themes of GRIEF, POLLUTION and HOPE. KISSY is a young teenager enduring difficult financial and family circumstances, she tries to save a hopeless, beached shark that is dying of plastic contamination. This story explores the painful reality of the damage made by man-made pollution and the futile will of one young woman to right this pervasive wrong. More...

 

FILMMAKERS

LOLA BLANCHE HIGGINS

WRITER / DIRECTOR

While studying Fine Art at Edinburgh University, Lola Blanche Higgins wrote and directed GROUT PRAY. The film was twice nominated for BAFTA New Talent Awards and commended by MoMa. Since then, she wrote and directed THE EGG AND THE THIEVING PIE, a surreal short exploring the idea of animal traits in human form. Starring double-BAFTA-winning Anna Maxwell Martin, Gemma Jones and double-OLIVIER-Award-winning Noma Dumezweni, the film has been supported by the Women In Film LA Finishing Fund and has played at major festivals including Vancouver International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Newport Beach Film Festival. She is supported by the BAFTA LA Scholarship to study at the American Film Institute.

ROBERT L. HUNTER

CINEMATOGRAPHER

Robert L Hunter III — of Blackfeet, Sho-Pai and Washoe descent — holds an AAS in Visual Arts (Photography Emphasis and Film Production) from Salt Lake Community College. While obtaining his degree in Salt Lake City, Hunter served as Director of Photography on various commercials, music videos and short films — in addition to being employed as a camera rental house technician. He was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 2016 Utah Film Awards for his work on the short film INTERROGATION. Robert is currently studying Cinematography at the American Film Institute.

BRONTË CAMPBELL

PRODUCTION DESIGNER

Brontë Campbell is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BA in Media Arts. Since her graduation in 2016, she has designed various commercials and worked in the art department of several productions, including STUDIO C, ANDI MACK and RELATIONSHIP STATUS. She was the set decorator for the Hallmark Channel's ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS and is currently finishing work as the on-set dresser on the CW's THE OUTPOST. Bronte is currently studying Production Design at the American Film Institute.

CAMILLA BARTOLI

EDITOR

Camilla Bartoli was born in Italy and grew up between France, China, the USA and the UK. She is a recent graduate of Royal Holloway University of London, with an honorary BA in Film, Television and Digital Production. She has edited numerous short films, travel videos, documentaries and event videos. She now studies Editing at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

CHRISTINA KELLY HOLMES

STORY EDITOR

Christina Kelly Holmes attended Colorado College, earning a BA in Sociology in 2011. After working in the tech industry for various startups, she redirected her career, pivoted into writing and attended the Professional Program in Screenwriting at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. There, her script "Your Mother's Mother" was nominated for the Nate Wilson Joie de Vivre award. Holmes' short film BLUE BEAST, which she co-wrote and co-directed, is currently in post-production.

JORDAN BACKHUS

PRODUCER

Most recently, Jordan Backhus was Global Director of Content at Elite World, where he was responsible for launching and implementing its first-ever in-house content vertical. Formerly, Backhus was a creative producer and director at WME|IMG, where he worked in building the company's OTT channels and creating its original content across connected platforms. He is a founding member of WME's first original network with Apple, Inc., Made to Measure (M2M), a premium fashion-arts network, and he is a director, producer and writer on a variety of M2M's branded and original content. He holds a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

 
 

AFI CONSERVATORY

At the world-renowned American Film Institute Conservatory, a dedicated group of working professionals from the film and television communities serve as mentors in a hands-on, production-based environment nurturing the talents of tomorrow's storytellers. The Conservatory is consistently recognized as one of the world’s top film schools. 

With an emphasis on narrative visual storytelling and personal expression, each class breaks into teams that mirror a real production environment. Those teams collaborate on and produce more films than any other graduate level film program. 

Established in 1969, the two-year Master of Fine Arts program provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. 

Admissions to AFI Conservatory are highly selective, with a maximum of only 140 fellows per year. AFI alumni continually celebrate critical recognition, including wins at the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Grand Prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival making one of the most rewarded film schools in the world.

NOTABLE ALUMNI

 

T E R R E N C E  M A L I C K  l  D I R E C T I N G 

Badlands, The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line

 

P A U L  S C H R A D E R  l  D I R E C T I N G 

First Reformed, American Gigolo

 

D A V I D  L Y N C H  l  D I R E C T I  N G 

Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, The Elephant Man

 

P A T T Y  J E N K I N S  l  D I R E C T I N G

Wonder Woman, Monster 

 

D A R R E N  A R O N O F S K Y  l  D I R E C T I N G

Black Swan, Requiem For a Dream, The Fountain 

 

S A M  E S M A I L  l  D I R E C T I N G

Mr. Robot, Homecoming 

 

R A C H E L  M O R R I S O N  l  C I N E M A T O G R A P H Y

Mudbound, Black Panther, Fruitvale Station

 

R O B E R T  R I C H A R D S O N  l  C I N E M A T O G R A P H Y

Inglorious Bastards, Shutter Island, The Hateful Eight 

 

R O B E R T  E L S W I T  l  C I N E M A T O G R A P H Y

There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Good Night And Good Luck

 

J A N U S Z  K A M I N S K I  l  C I N E M A T O G R A P H Y

Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Lincoln, Ready Player One

 

M A T T H E W  L I B A T I Q U E  l  C I N E M A T O G R A P H Y

Iron Man, Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream

 

S T E V E  G O L I N  l  P R O D U C I N G

Babel, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Spotlight, The Revenant

 

L I Z  H A N N A H  l  P R O D U C I N G

The Post, Long Shot

 

J O H N  S H I B A N  l  S C R E E N W R I T I N G 

Breaking  Bad, The X- Files

 

B R A D  F A L C H U K  l  S C R E E N W R I T I N G 

American Crime Story, Glee, Nip/Tuck  

KISSY IS SUPPORTED BY

 
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