A woman walking her dog alone in the bush has a strange encounter.
“Trespass” is the picks of Short of The Week’s Premiere by Staff Pick Premiere! on @Vimeo.
Director: Mirrah Foulkes
Screenplay: Mirrah Foulkes
Producer: Alex White
Cinematography: Ari Wegner
Cast: Sara West, Maya Stange
There is an eeriness that accompanies experiences in the forest. Even the mundane leaves rustling, a branch breaking can make your mind jump to sinister conclusions before reason has the chance to calm it back down. Maybe it’s being out of your element. Or that the silence and sparseness of nature allow space for your brain to wander. This is the picks of Short of The Week’s Premiere by Staff Pick Premiere, “Trespass,” we’re dropped instantly into this kind of heightened state. By recreating the tension felt in the forest, the film gives viewers room to project their own insecurities and ideas into the story and ultimately, come to their own ominous conclusions.
Filmmaker Mirrah Foulkes is an Australian actor, writer, and director known for her performances in Top of the Lake and the Animal Kingdom, as well as her short films “Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke” and “Florence, Has Left The Building.” You may also recognize her from the hilariously cringe-worthy Vimeo classic “Spider” by Nash Edgerton.
In “Trespass,” which premiered at TIFF in 2016 and won the Erwin Radio Award for best Australian short at the Melbourne Film Festival, Foulkes wanted to create an atmosphere, unlike most thrillers. The protagonist, Rachel, walks her dog through the woods and comes across a young woman crying. Through the lingering details of the forest and sparse dialogue between the two, it’s difficult to get a clear read on the situation. Does this young woman need help? Should Rachel just continue on her way? “I was interested in the idea of trying to sustain the tension and suspense with as little hand-holding as possible for the audience,” she describes, “so that as a viewer, you’re almost having a parallel experience to the character Rachel.” As this tightly-wound interaction ends on an ambiguous note, we, the viewers, feel the same conflicted sense of worry and search for the same clues as Rachel. And that leaves us with the crux of the film: if you think someone is in trouble, do you try to help? Even if it means crossing boundaries that potentially shouldn’t be crossed?