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Human Instincts

Human Instincts follows Callum, an aloof, socially isolated college student, over the course of a 30 minute period in his philosophy class. Callum is usually passive, an observer in his class's rigorous discussions, but today is different. Today, he has something to prove, an experiment to conduct, and the rest of the class are his unwitting participants.

  • Nikola Stojkovic
  • Nikola Stojkovic
  • Dylan Morris
  • Brady Richter
    Key Cast
  • Tyler Burke
    Key Cast
  • Sissy Anne Quaranta
    Key Cast
  • Matt Quattrocki
    Key Cast
  • Megan Gill
    Key Cast
  • William Dale Rowland
    Key Cast
  • Hannah Welever
  • Nick Stubblefield
  • Nikola Stojkovic
  • Judy Febles
    First Assistant Director
  • Nichole Harmon
    First Assistant Camera
  • Alex Donnelly
  • David Hughes
  • Timothy Edson
    Sound Recordists
  • Regan Young
    Sound Recordists
  • Evan Rein
    Boom Operator
  • Amber White
    Hair & Make up Artist
  • Damian Duran
    Sound Designer & Foley
  • Simon Mounsey
    Production Assistant
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Thriller, Psychological Thriller
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Nikola Stojkovic

Nikola Stojkovic was born in a country that no longer exists. At two years of age, he was transplanted from Belgrade, Yugoslavia to Chicago, Illinois, and has spent the past 24 years growing, learning, laughing, crying, developing a sarcastic wit, becoming a little jaded, and breaking bones. Oh-so-many bones.
In 2013, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film and video from Columbia College Chicago. He set out into the Chicago indie scene, working on features including Tasmanian Tiger and Devil in My Ride. Since then, he has written and directed shorts and branded content for the non-profit organization, Latino Art Beat, and wrote and directed the commemorative video for Roberto Clemente Community Academy’s 50th anniversary celebration.
His latest short film, Human Instincts, represents the culmination of two years of work from conception to completion, and is his most ambitious project to date.

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Director Statement

For even the most casual observer of current events, it is enough to take one look at any news app, channel, or paper to conclude that nearly every newsworthy event in the world today is governed by one thing: fear. More specifically, a giving in, or capitulation to fear and its often irrational behaviors. Fear is an endlessly exploitable emotion, and can be a powerful force for regressive change and knee-jerk reaction.
Human Instincts attempts to deal with the use of fear as a tool for manipulation, a mechanism unlocking the door to human nature. Most people have a standard way in which they view themselves and others around them- we can be good people or bad people. But what we never really know until we are forced to experience it, is how we behave in extreme stress situations that elicit fear. Do we still perceive ourselves as good people if we behave in a bad way? Does the situation bring out our true self that is otherwise neatly packed beneath our day-to-day personality? Are good and bad arbitrary notions that were never considered in evolutionary human design? These questions floated through my head while writing and working on Human Instincts, but they are bullet points to the main idea: logic and intelligence cannot yield to fear in times of extreme stress, or the results will always be tragic.