Private Project

End of the Rope

Rachel Victoria Drummond, a famous dancer who had to quit dancing after an accident, wants to succeed as a choreographer. One day, she visits Dr. Petr Zimmermann, a genius neuroscientist who has invented a creativity-sharing machine called N.I.C.E. (Neurological Interchange Communication Equipment), a machine that taps into peoples’ talents and consciousness. As Rachel continues to use the machine, her relationship with Dr. Zimmermann dissolves into one of seduction and abuse. Lines between ordinary reality and N.I.C.E. reality blur as Rachel is torn between the life she has always wanted and the sacrifice she must make to keep it.

End of the Rope is a sci-fi drama about an injured dancer's journey towards self-empowerment that powerfully engages with questions of creativity, desire, sexual harassment, disability and the lures and limits of new AI technologies.

  • Sibel Guvenc
    Turkish Mesir Macunu, In the Penal Colony, Hungarian Salami, One Step Apart, The Almond Sorters, Secrets, Stigma, Annyeong Erkin, Palette
  • Sibel Guvenc
    Turkish Mesir Macunu, One Step Apart, In the Penal Colony, Hungarian Salami, The Almond Sorters, Secrets, Stigma, Annyeong Erkin, Palette
  • Sibel Guvenc
    Turkish Mesir Macunu, In the Penal Colony, Hungarian Salami, One Step Apart, The Almond Sorters, Secrets, Stigma, Annyeong Erkin, Palette
  • Sarah Murphy-Dyson
    Key Cast
    Suits(NBC), 12 Monkeys(SyFy), Workin’ Moms (CBC), Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight- American Girl (Universal Pictures), Rookie Blue (CTV), The Dark (First Love Films/Dark Sky Films, and on stage; Dirty Dancing Onstage (Mirvish), Pro Arte Danza, six George F Walker plays, Cabaret and The Naked Ballerina
  • Ryan Hollyman
    Key Cast
    Georgetown(Waltz);XMen Apocalypse(Fox);Shape Of Rex(Factoria); Designated Survivor(CBS); The Strain(FX); Murdoch Mysteries,Othello(CBC), and on stage; On the Crest of a Wave(NAC) Helen Lawrence,Macbeth,Shrew,Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Fernando Krapp,The Overcoat(Canadianstage);Superior Donuts(Coalmine); A Few Good Men, Glorydays(Aquarius);Pomona,Moment(ARC);Refuge(Nightwood); Warhorse(Mirvish); Andromache(Necessary Angel) ;Our Class(Studio 180)
  • Taylor Gill
    Key Cast
  • Armando Biasi
    Key Cast
    "N.I.C.E. DANCER"
  • Jenna Gagliardi
    Key Cast
    "N.I.C.E. DANCER"
  • Madison Haste
    Key Cast
    "N.I.C.E. DANCER"
  • Sara Hinding
    Key Cast
    "N.I.C.E. DANCER"
  • Amanda Martin
    Key Cast
    "N.I.C.E. DANCER"
  • Andrew Hunter
    Kristal Clear, The Market, Odd Squad, My Viola
  • Alyssa Gismondi
    Nail Bait , Aegris, Our Last Adventure
  • Christine Brkich
  • Lisa Brkich
  • Vitold Vidic
    One Step Apart, Big Brother Canada, Stitched, Cold Water Cowboys, MasterChef Canada
  • Oleksiy Buyanov
  • Sevgi Neumann
    Music Supervisor
    In the Penal Colony
  • Roksana Razavi
    Hairstylist, Makeup Artist
    Silent Birds Fly, What Color Do You See As Blue, Turkish Mesir Macunu, Night Scenes
  • Jasmine Nichols
    Costume Designer
  • Dwayne Newman
    Sound Designer
    5000 Years of Heroes, Turkish Mesir Macunu, Keep Coming Back!, Silent Retreat
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    drama, futuristic, sci-fi, dance, science
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 16, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    8,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - York University, MFA in Film
  • The Miron Deca Memorial Award
    York University Graduate Award
    2019 Miron Deca Memorial Award for an ardent intellectual curiosity, a thirst for knowledge, and an interdisciplinary dedicated preoccupation for Fine Arts
  • W. Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award
    York University Graduate Award
    2019 W. Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award in Fine Arts, which recognises outstanding ability and achievement in creative work
  • 38th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF)
    April 17, 2020
    World Premiere
  • Bronze Award at 53rd WorldFest Houston International Film Festival
    United States
    2020 Remi Bronze Award in Best Sci-Fi Short Film
  • 17th Cinema Touching Disability
    Austin, Texas
    United States
    October 17, 2020
  • 12th Lady Filmmakers Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    September 26, 2020
    North American Premiere
  • 12th Lady Filmmakers Film Festival - Best Sci-Fi Short
    Beverly Hills
    United States
    September 25, 2020
    US Premiere
    Best Sci-Fi Short Film Award
  • The 10th International Disability Breaking Barriers Down Film Festival
    Russian Federation
    November 19, 2020
  • 17th Another Hole in the Head Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    November 29, 2020
    San Francisco
  • 7th Pensacon Short Film Festival
    United States
    February 27, 2021
  • 8th Scifi Film Festival
    October 15, 2021
    Australian Premiere
  • 180´Berlin Filmfest
    November 1, 2021
    German Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Kybele Films
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Sibel Guvenc

Sibel Guvenc is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed Turkish-Canadian director, writer, and producer based in Toronto. Sibel has an MFA in Film from York University, and an Honours BFA degree in Integrated Media and Film from OCAD University. Sibel is a TIFF Talent Lab, and WIDC Director Alumna (Women In the Director’s Chair). Sibel has made ten award-winning short films and received thirty film awards and nominations at international film festivals.

Sibel’s new feature drama project, LOYA, was selected for the 2020 Whistler Film Festival (WFF) Producers Lab presented by Netflix in association with Telefilm, Creative BC and CMPA. She recently earned a spot at the WFF20 Power Pitch with LOYA, and has moved forward to the next round for Netflix Canadian Pitch Day. Sibel was selected for 2020 WIFT-T CONNECT Program with Marlo Miazga, WIDC CAM 2018 (Career Advancement Module), Telefilm Producers without Borders 2016 Berlinale Coproduction Market, CMPA Telefilm Producer Trainee Program with Sandra Cunningham, and WIDC at the Banff Centre (Story Development and Production Module), with mentor director Lea Pool.

In 2020, Sibel’s latest short film, End of the Rope, was officially selected to screen at one of the most prestigious fantasy film festivals in the world, the 38th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. In addition, it received Best Sci-Fi Film awards at festivals from Beverley Hills to Houston with additional screenings from San Francisco to Moscow. Turkish Mesir Macunu was officially selected, awarded and nominated in international film festivals in Canada (7 nominations), Chile, Turkey, India, Romania, the U.S. among others.

Sibel's earlier short films fared just as well on the festival circuit: Hungarian Salami was nominated for Best Comedy at the Yorkton Golden Sheaf Awards and was considered for Canada's Top Ten Shorts by the TIFF Group. Her acclaimed film, In The Penal Colony, based on Franz Kafka’s short story, received awards at festivals from New York to Kolkata, was presented alongside Orson Welles’ The Trial, and was included as part of a trilogy in Teatro Municipal da Guarda together with Philip Glass's opera based on the same story.
Sibel's films have been sold for broadcast and have aired on Shot TV, BRAVO!Canada, CBC, CTV, Deutsche Welle, and Ragusani nel Mondo.
In addition to her films, Sibel was also awarded personally for her work. They include Best Shorts' Humanitarian Award - Honourable Mention for important topics presented with excellent filmmaking craft, as well as the W. Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award recognizing outstanding ability and achievement in creative work. In 2019, she was presented with the Miron Deca Memorial Award for an ardent intellectual curiosity, a thirst for knowledge, and an interdisciplinary dedication.

In her films, Sibel is interested in exploring existentialist psychology, issues of power and control, social justice, and the future of science and environment. She portrays strong female characters who overcome social and psychological restrictions in their search for self.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

End of the Rope is a 20-minute futuristic drama about an injured dancer's journey towards self-empowerment. After she is crippled in a car accident, a former dancer enters a power struggle with an exploitative scientist who promises her creative freedom in an altered reality with his invention.

End of the Rope is a 20-minute futuristic drama in the intellectual tradition of Tarkovsky that contributes to debates on issues of power, control, sexual abuse in virtual reality, and the use of immersive technology in creativity and existentialist psychology. I focus on power, desire, and dependency through my characters: an artist, a scientist, and a machine. End of the Rope is a film about how power is obtained and used to control and take advantage.

N.I.C.E. is one of the main characters of my film. This approach comes directly from my critically-acclaimed, award-winning short film In the Penal Colony, based on Franz Kafka’s short story. Here, Apparatus, the execution machine, portrays a control mechanism that the individual characters have no power over. In End of the Rope, I focus on using technology controlled by an individual’s own freewill. I created a machine by researching current science and technology such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the Human Brain Project, and cognitive intelligence. Connected to the machine, my main character enters a new world. I collaborated with a scientist, choreographer, cinematographer, VFX artist, and composer to explore this new world through movement, lights, sound, design, and visuals. The machine allows us to experience my protagonist’s Godly Creation. 

We are transitioning into a hybrid age, an era of human-machine interdependence, where technology will live within us. This will drastically change society, the life of the individual, and possibly even the nature of creativity. N.I.C.E. allows Rachel to delve into other people’s minds to utilize their cognitive ability, talent, knowledge, and consciousness. The central role machines will play in our future raises questions such as “Can there be a platform for shared creativity?” and “How are we going to create in the future?” “What are the motives to use this kind of technology?” Rachel can not succeed in the real world due to her disability. Rachel is promised the achievement of her dreams through science. The story also puts disability on screen and the idea of how liberating technology can be for people in this kind of situation, but at what price? Rachel tries to reach her full potential without sacrificing her integrity. Can a fiction film depict potential abuse of power through a protagonist who experiences problems in immersive simulated technology? Can we achieve empowerment with or without virtual tools? Can a machine built on nanotechnology and AI help individuals tap into each other's talents? End of the Rope explores this idea; we have the ability to create a good life for the masses through science and technology, if only we learn to wield power with respect and justice.