A sculptor who creates with junk seeks to escape a life of destitution by submitting his work to the Winnowing, a competitive ritual that promises a better life for those whose art awes the judges.

After two unsuccessful submissions, the artist must make a blood sacrifice to continue with the ritual, per the Winnowing rules. Because the price of aspiring is so steep, he begins to wonder if he can justify the sacrifices. Ultimately, he decides that he will do anything to pull himself out of the mud.

Following a string of rejections, the artist falls into a soul-crushing depression, and he questions his every decision. On that journey, he rediscovers his lust for life and his audacity, and he returns to his work.

To prove to himself that he’s capable of creating art that awes, he returns to the Winnowing, not as a competitor, but as a man free from the desire for recognition. He rejects the ritual, then returns to his life in the mud, where he continues creating for its own sake.

  • Adam Freise
  • Nathan Freise
  • Jeremy Elvis Herman
  • Phill Gee
  • Michael Kennedy
  • Jeremy Elvis Herman
  • Joseph Lopez
    Key Cast
    Rum Go!, Birthday, GRACE
  • Leo Ramsey
    Key Cast
    Room 37: The Mysterious Death of Johnny Thunders, FX Series: The Border
  • Ethan Konner Post
    Key Cast
    Single Drunk Female, Spilled Paint
  • Jordan T Parrott
    Chaperone, See You Then, Tom In America
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 30, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    170,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Adam Freise, Nathan Freise

Twin directing duo, Adam and Nathan Freise, create stories that blur the line between imagination and reality. Their unique stylistic choices are grounded in their background in architecture and animation, disciplines which have influenced their true passion: filmmaking.

The brothers have made their mark, creating cinematic commercials and short brand films for more than ten years. Among other award-winning spots, their Tesla ad, Not a Dream, was featured on Treehugger and Adweek, and brought them an award at Cannes.

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Director Statement

We have always been interested in stories that feel extremely tangible but don't seem quite of this time and place. We believe that mankind is here to create and that true creation takes vision, suffering and a bit of insanity. Without art, our purpose is lost, but with it, we are in control of the limits and meaning of our lives. This idea fuels the story of "One."