A homeless, hungry drifter and his dog discover judging night at a local beard-growing contest. Desperate for the colossal meat-pack prize, but with no beard to speak of, he enters the competition and takes the stage.
For a long while I had been looking to film a short story of a classic nature, with an actual beginning, middle and end. Corey’s script, thanks to its simplicity, humanity and originality, leapt off the page as a fully formed tale.
I see it as a tragi-comedy. A piece of fantastical folklore. A fabulist oddity populated with fascinating, characters and visuals.
There’s a huge amount of ‘Kiwi-ness’ in this story as well, and not just in where it’s set. There’s a kind of rural ‘hard luck, mate’ aspect to the events reminiscent of stories like John Mulgan’s NZ novel Man Alone, and countless kiwi yarns spun across the miles and the years in pubs throughout New Zealand. There’s black humour for sure, but underlying it is a dryness and wryness offset by an inherent fondness for humanity (and dogs).
Woven into the yarn are threads of, loyalty, sacrifice, social acceptance, as well as some really excellent smallgoods presentation, but above all Whisker is intended to be an emotional experience to make you laugh, cry and, hopefully enjoy.
2015: Maremetraggio International Film Festival Trieste, Flickerfest, 2014: Show Me Shorts, Foyle Film Festival, Pacific Meridien Festival, Portland Film Festival, California Independent Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival