King of the Ducks

When a long-lost friend comes back in his life to find tired and done-with-life Otto, he's forced to reunite with his past life and estranged brother Cliff to save himself from the passion that devoured him and separated them: ping-pong.

  • Daniel Martinez Perez
  • Victor H. Bernal
  • Khushi-Jayraj "KJ" Nayak
  • Conly Roberts Watson
    Key Cast
    Prescribed Memories (2022)
  • Ethan Apostoliuk
    Key Cast
  • Natalie Peters
    Key Cast
    Baby Steps (2022)
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama, Absurdist
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 24, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    2,379 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Apple ProRes 4444 XQ
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Vancouver Film School
Director Biography - Daniel Martinez Perez

Daniel Martinez Perez was born in Mexico City on the 20th of May 1997. From a young age film became his passion, he played with his fathers camera and even saved up to buy his own tiny camcorder. After high school Daniel decided to dedicate his life to film and move across the world to expand his horizons and learn as much as he could about film. In Germany Daniel kept learning and started to experiment with different formats and types of stories, from experimental animated shorts, to documentaries about the graffiti scene in Mainz. In 2020 he graduated from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz with a degree in film studies and a minor in economics. He decided to keep learning about the process of filmmaking, so he moved again, now to Vancouver Canada to study at the recognized film institution VFS (Vancouver Film School), where he keeps creating new projects, experiments with new methods and makes his dream of becoming a filmmaker come true.

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Director Statement

Growing up I was always fascinated by film and TV, there was something magical about it. I was captivated by the way a screen could transport me to a different world every single time, it didn’t matter that it was the same movie theater, every single time it was a different adventure in a different place with new friends and new challenges. This love for movies grew with time and I started to learn more about film and every single time I was fascinated. My passion for film gave me the courage to dedicate my life to this art and I must say I don’t regret it. I went to university to study film and now I dedicate my life to creating films.

But I say that there was a time where this passion evolved into an unhealthy obsession. I started to only care about films. I stopped going out with friends, I would spend most of my time watching films at home and in my free time I would go to the movie theater alone. My obsession separated me from the people that are important in my life and loneliness and sadness started to become more prevalent in my life.

It took a long time to realize that there was an unhealthy balance in my life, I could have abandoned film but that was not the right answer either. I realized that part of what made my love for film so special is that I used to share this love with my friends and family. With some time, I managed to find that balance in my life between passion and family. That's why I got very excited to work on King of the Ducks. It was the perfect project to bring these new learnings to the screen and also to create an amazing experience paying homage to one of my favorite genres that help to grow to the person I am today, anime.

King of the ducks is a visually stylized story about family, passion, and Ping Pong. This film mainly explores the theme of passion and what happens when it is taken to the extreme. The story could be seen as an absurdist comedy/drama.

We want to lean into the absurd, but we still have a heartwarming message at the end that is worth telling. The central point of the story is that what makes passion worth fighting for is not necessarily being the best at something, is about the connections you make in the way, is about caring for your family and connecting with that part of yourself that makes you feel like a kid again. I have realized this with filmmaking too, sometimes you are caught in the process and in the goal of making something good, and you forget that you got into filmmaking because it is fun.