"When a Beast attacks, its hunter and its protector both re- evaluate their beliefs as they are lowered to the status of prey."

Reflective of our pandemic behaviour, 'BEASTS' explores how we treat those who we see as a threat to our own wellbeing and dares to ask whether some lives matter more than others.

  • Manul Japheth Gunaratne
  • Manul Japheth Gunaratne
  • Sarah Jane Chahine
  • Nicola Denton
    Key Cast
    "Rachael / Narrator"
  • Shaun Foley
    Key Cast
    "Jacob / Beast"
  • Sarah Nader
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Noir, Horror, Thriller, Zombie, Monster
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 7, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,800 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS)
Director Biography - Manul Japheth Gunaratne

My name is MJ and I’m a Sri-Lankan-Australian writer & director based in Sydney. Growing up in my mother country, I learnt quickly the power western films held over the minds of everyone, even those who were never represented in them, and how easily these stories can captivate the whole world and dictate what is seen as ‘normal’ and ‘right’. Hence, my approach to filmmaking is to ensure each film is marketable and digestible to the mainstream while still portraying every walk of life I tackle as authentically and complex as they exist so we can minimise ignorance and educate the world as easily as we entertain them - like medicine inside ice-cream.

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Director Statement

Zombie stories are always an exploration of how humans react to a viral threat, yet some of the highest tension resides when someone is bitten and there’s only a few seconds before they turn. By changing the logic of this familiar convention – so the infected only turn after they die – the dilemma in my film expands to whether or not it’s okay to rob someone's entire remaining life because they could rob yours sometime in the future. Mirroring the vilest edges of the pandemic discourse, ‘Beasts’ allowed me to craft a thrilling genre film that still tackles the timeless themes of survival, ignorance, and victimhood, and illustrates how perspectives change as positions of power do.