Five Stars

On a cold autumn night, a self-proclaimed playboy and his shifty friend take a ride-share they'll never forget. They encounter a gregarious ride-share driver, an unusually long red light, and a sexual partner with a trick up her sleeve.

  • Kenny Williams
  • Ryan Hepkema
  • Kenny Williams
  • Ryan Hepkema
  • Kenny Williams
  • Ryan Hepkema
  • Shane O'Shea
    Key Cast
  • Jack Romano
    Key Cast
  • Princeton A. Egbe
    Key Cast
    "The Driver"
  • Danielle Maddox
    Key Cast
  • Jamie Taylor Ballesta
    Key Cast
  • Austin Page
  • Justin Clare
  • Cat Barroso
    Production Designer
  • Jasmine Ali
  • Torsten Gran-Ruaz
    Original Score
  • Brian Hawlk
    Sound Design
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Dark comedy, satire, surreal
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 23, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kenny Williams, Ryan Hepkema

Kenny - I was born and raised in Sacramento California and quickly gained an interest in the entertainment industry. My first love was wrestling, specifically WWE. I wanted nothing more than to be a wrestler and put on a show. Those dreams quickly faded after seeing a match's real physical toll in person. Wanting no part of wrestling anymore, I picked up a camera. At around age ten or eleven I began recording almost all aspects of my day. Naturally, I have virtually none of this footage, but I still have plenty of the movies I parodied in my young teenage years. These parodies were the building blocks of my filmmaking style to this day. I had no access to editing software and wouldn't know how to use it if I had it. My solution was simple, just shoot everything as an oner! I had no idea I was training myself in efficiency in storytelling at such a young age. This, and incessant renting from Blockbuster with my father led me here today.

Ryan - I grew up in the outdoors and found my love of filmmaking early on when my family first bought a camcorder. Its first purpose was to capture my performances in local stageplays, but soon became a tool for me to create. Not having learned or having purchased editing software, I was forced to get creative as I learned to edit in-camera using match cuts and other clever tricks to disguise edits. I've written stories for as long as I can remember, a skill I undoubtedly inherited from my father who was a gifted writer himself. My creative nature and adventurous spirit continue to thrust me forward in this exciting world of entertainment, where I hope to continue on a path of success. As I look back, remembering all the roads that led me here, I wish to not regret a single step.

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Director Statement

Chemistry is the bond that holds a project together. Whether it was gaining chemistry with our cast by locking them months in advance, or chemistry as a first-time directing duo between long-time friends, we had the challenge of making five distinct characters all stand out in an equally bizarre world.

Somewhere in the middle of careful and meticulous pre-production, extensive rehearsals, and just pure fun, Five Stars was born. We wanted to make a film that felt different, and being well aware of our ever-waning attention spans, we aimed to grab the audience from the opening frame and never let go.

Knowing the film is very limited with locations we needed to answer one question; "How do we make this aesthetically pleasing?" The answer is an amalgamation of real-life experiences supported by visuals from films that have inspired us. In the end, all of these elements were brought together to conceive a situation that only these characters could find themselves in. Buckle up and remember - Five Stars.