"Sanctuary" is a Neo-Western Coming-of-Age short proof-of-concept film that tells the story of two young boys, Johnny and Clint. They’ve escaped their abusive households and take refuge in an old, abandoned church. Things get especially bad when two bank robbers divert their path and head straight for the same church. We see the clash when these two moments collide, and explore the question - What do you do when your best friend is dying? Do you try to save them or do you honor their final request?
So much of American cinema focuses on violence, but it is less frequent that such stories bring up discussions around the consequences of poor decisions. As conscientious storytellers, we don't just want to highlight the issues in our society. We want to be part of the conversation that introduces solutions.
"Sanctuary" the Short Film focuses on the themes of friendship and loyalty, but it also touches on the subject of abuse. The two young boys, Johnny and Clint, escape from their respective abusive home situations, and in their limited way, attempt to escape the generational trauma brought about by learned behavior. When they run away to an abandoned church, their journey further begs the question - how would their story change if the church were not abandoned? What would their story look like had they had a supportive mentor or community to run to for help?
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ANDREW J KATERS