Private Project

Agnes (Student Film)

Will and his sister Agnes share a comfortable country home during the late 19th century. Will is in love with Esther, who lives past the woods and who Agnes suspects is a witch.

  • J.Christian Hamilton
  • J.Christian Hamilton
  • J.Christian Hamilton
    Minor (2016), The Artist's Dream (2018)
  • Julie Redwolf Alisic
    Key Cast
    "Esther Corey"
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 6, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - George Brown College
  • Lake Placid Film Festival
    Lake Placid, New York
    United States
    October 26, 2019
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Toronto Short Film Festival
    September 17, 2020
    Winner, "Best Drama Short"
Director Biography - J.Christian Hamilton

A first-time female Director from Toronto who is also a collector and DJ of rare vintage psychedelic and art-rock vinyl with a degree in History and Theatre (University of Toronto, 2012) and Film: Video Design & Production (GBC, 2019). She first began in film as a Producer of ambitious indie road trip narrative, Minor (2016), a successful trial-by-fire feature length whose production started in Ontario and spanned 13 US states.

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Director Statement

"Best Drama Short"
Official Selection, Toronto Short Film Festival, 2020

This Canadian short film, Agnes was:
Written and directed by J.Christian Hamilton
Edited by Reginald Harkema
Cinematography by Osman Force
Music Score by Alia O'Brien
(Music in this video by Malcolm Cecil)

Director's Statement

This was my first time directing (made while at film school). It was a great boon having had my previous degree in History as many details of a period piece need to be considered. Agnes is set somewhere between the 1890s to 1910. The inference is that although punishment for witchcraft at the time wouldn’t have been exercised through law, in middle class country life, it would be seen to be indecent and frowned upon. This fact is one on which I built a narrative hook.
As a female writer and director, I was concerned the first impression of pitting one woman against the other could be perceived as unsympathetic to to women, but the film is meant to have a rather different message and the feud is fairly superficial or tertiary, used mostly as a device.
There's a subtext that often women have not been listened to, so have had to find another way to speak, and that our power is underestimated. The male character, Will, not only disregards his sister’s concerns, but is often lazing about while she toils, is cavalier while she is sober-minded and is ultimately dismissive towards her. As he doesn’t seem to care what matters to her, what matters to him may soon be taken away.