Private Project


The son of a murdered research scientist risks it all to obtain the cure for cancer to give to the people.

Rick Sharpe, the son of late cancer researcher Martin Sharpe, in an effort to keep his father’s work alive, breaks into Sharpe Labs to steal his father’s recent cure for cancer. But when his Uncle, Victor Sharpe, stops Rick in his tracks, he must use his resources to take the cure and escape, giving the cure to the people like his father wanted.

  • Ben Hess
  • Jared A. Draney
  • Ben Hess
  • Jared A. Draney
  • Lauren Alice
  • Sam Spragins
  • Kellen Cuttance
    Key Cast
    "Rick Sharpe"
  • Robert Dale Walker
    Key Cast
    "Victor Sharpe"
  • Payton Miller
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Western Carolina University
  • Controlled Chaos Film Festival
    Cullowhee, NC
    United States
    April 29, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Reedy Reels Film Festival
    Greenville, SC
    United States
    February 18, 2023
    Audience Choice Award
Director Biography - Ben Hess, Jared A. Draney

Ben Hess is a filmmaker from Greenville, S.C. who has recently graduated from Western Carolina University's Film and Television Program. He is studying to expand his knowledge of the filmmaking world. Focusing on Director of Photography and Camera Operating, he will take any opportunity to get behind a camera.

Born in Paterson, NJ, now living in Spartanburg, SC, Jared Draney is a professional photographer and cinematographer recently graduated from Western Carolina University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Television Production. Aside from also having a background in brass musical performance, Jared has worked with several production companies, including ARKEN Media, Arrowhead Design Co, and now currently APFuel. Draney also works as the Content Creator for Western Carolina University Football.

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Director Statement

Malignant was made with the intention of producing a thrilling action film. Both Jared and Ben have wanted to get into the action genre and decided their senior thesis was a great opportunity to do so. The film is a passion project for the two, and want to showcase their skills at making a great film on a low budget. Growing up watching films like Indiana Jones, action has always been in their blood. With a resurgence in action films being made that not only have good fights, but also good stories and characters they saw this as an opportunity to get in on that action.

They decided on this because it’s uncommon for student films to be large scale action flicks. Despite the pressure, they wanted the challenge. They worked together to create something exhilarating, mesmerizing, and funny.