Private Project


A seemingly ordinary date proves fleeting as seductions often promise more than they deliver

  • Bensalem Mitchell
    RETCON, The Hunt (La Chasse)
  • Bensalem Mitchell
  • Sean Lerwill
    Key Cast
    Birds of a feather, self made, the wives did it
  • Kate Braithwaite
    Key Cast
  • Riyadh Haque
    1st Assitant Director
  • Matt Gillan
    Director of Photography
    RETCON, Feline
  • Mike Hinedes
    1st AC/Focus Puller
  • Steven Fairman
    2nd Assistant Camera
  • Benjamin Foss
    Boom Operator/Sound Recordist
  • Samhain Carter-Brazier
    Sound Designer
  • Becki Short
    Production Designer
    A Hero's Journey
  • Bensalem Mitchell
  • Riyadh Haque
  • Bensalem Mitchell
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 18, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    900 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm Film
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Euro International Shorts Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    April 3, 2018
    UK, Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square
  • Winchester Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    Best British Short Film (Nominee), Best Hampshire Prize (Nominee)
Director Biography - Bensalem Mitchell

As an all round filmmaker who has spent the past few years learning each individual craft of the medium .i.e. camera operation, editing and sparking, I have recently concentrated on writing and directing. Even though this was always my intention I wanted a better understanding of the all-round craft before attempting such a role. Despite directing numerous music videos, this really came together when I directed my first official short film as an independent filmmaker ‘RETCON’ which was really well received at festivals. As a writer I love to pull inspiration from all sorts of areas that are not just films but books, graphic novels, and video games. All of which I wish to apply as references for my next short film but as a story teller in general I wish to focus on character driven narratives, which all of have an element that can only be explored in this medium.

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Director Statement

With Duplicity I wanted to progress my craft as a filmmaker whilst maintaining a minimal budget and keep the logistics relatively simple. Knowing my limitations would be a single location and a couple of actors, I started to work on a drama. Whatever direction I will go on as a writer/director I realise at the heart of any good genre and narrative is good characterisation, which is why I wanted to prove to myself I could attempt a compelling drama.
To further immerse the audience in the world, I wanted to set the story in a certain but contemporary time period (in the early 2000's). This gave the film a sense of identity including the chance to add production value to a low budget film. Shooting on 16mm film would further emphasise these choices and bring about an aesthetic I wanted to attain from such references like Andrea Arnold's 'Fish Tank' and Derek Cianfrance's 'Blue Valentine'.
The choice to direct on 16mm film was also an inviting challenge for me as we decided to only 800ft of film (due to budget) giving us roughly a 2:1 shooting ratio based on our schedule. This gave the necessary pressure to block appropriately and rehearse before a scene which meant I had to be much more concise and communicative to cast and crew and improve my discipline in directing overall.
Fortunately this was also helped by a great cast who were also long-listed as my initial cast dropped only days before. Because I wanted to add more of a kitchen sink feel and move away from a cinematic approach, one of my decisions early was to not include a score from a composer and keep all sounds and/or music diegetic.

Ultimately Duplicity is a look at shame and the grey areas in which we look into in life. The idea of going ahead with something yet knowing it is or feels wrong deep down. I tried to tackle the medium of short film by not giving a conventional approach to showcasing a complete arc and closure of a story but rather express a moment in someone's life. I felt most short films try to condense to much information in too short a time and I wanted to take advantage of the fact that I had not much time to tell something in but rather draw out a brief moment in as much quality as I can. I hope you can enjoy.