Private Project

Perdition County

Perdition County is an atmospheric story focusing on a foot soldier, named Desmond, who defects from his band of scalp-collecting pilgrims. He sets out on an odyssey to freedom, throughout the endless landscapes of a fictional county, and attempts to reclaim his humanity.

  • Raphaël Crombez
  • Raphaël Crombez
  • Matthias Schellens
  • Johnny Vivash
    Key Cast
  • Richard Bremmer
    Key Cast
  • Laura Woodhouse
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 12, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri RAW
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Film Festival Ghent
    Ghent, Belgium
    October 19, 2014
    National Premiere in Country of Origin
    The Audience Award
  • International Short Film Festival Leuven
    Leuven, Belgium
    November 30, 2014
    Country of Origin
    VAF Wildcard, Press Award
  • Ciné Public
    Antwerp, Belgium
    March 14, 2015
    Country of Origin
    Best Director, Best Soundtrack
  • Brussels International Short Film Festival "Next Generation"
    Brussels, Belgium
    April 28, 2015
    Country of Origin
    Best Image
  • Karlovy Vary "Future Frames" 10 new filmmakers to follow
    Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
    July 6, 2015
    European Premiere
    part of 10 new filmmakers to follow
  • Film Festival Oostende
    Oostende, Belgium
    September 17, 2015
    Best Short Film (SBC Award)
  • Nederlands Film Festival
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    September 28, 2015
    The Netherlands
    part of "Breaking Ground"
  • Seminci
    Valladolid, Sapin
    October 29, 2015
Director Biography - Raphaël Crombez

Raphaël Crombez studied film at LUCA School of Arts (Campus Sint-Lukas Brussels), where he graduated with a Master’s degree in the Audiovisual Arts with great distinction in September 2014. When asked about what first drew him to film, he recalled the first time he was introduced to the works of David Lean, Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese. It was by discovering films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Magnolia and Taxi Driver during his teenage years; that a hunger for learning how to make motion pictures was inspired. But it was only until he studied 3D-animation in Johannesburg, South-Africa, that he seriously considered pursuing this dream he had otherwise deemed unattainable.
After finishing his studies and living in South-Africa for 4 years, he moved back to Belgium and enrolled at Sint-Lukas Brussels. There he made his Bachelor graduation short film ‘Kingdom Come’, which was selected for Brussels Film Festival of 2013 and Ciné Public Ghent 2013; where the film earned a nomination in category Best Film, Best Cinematography and Best Soundtrack. After earning his Bachelor degree in the Audiovisual Arts, he enrolled for a Master in Audiovisual Arts. During his studies he wrote and directed his very first international big-budget commercial.
While writing his Master graduation film, titled ‘Perdition County’, Raphaël was inspired by the compositions of Krzysztof Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood. Guided by their music, he drew out a series of detailed illustrations that would later serve as a guideline for the casting, art direction and cinematography. He then joined forces with producer Matthias Schellens of Colonel to make his film a reality.
When he isn’t watching films, writing short fiction in his spare time or directing commercials with production company Colonel, Raphaël expands his portfolio in concept art; which he would make use of in treatments for his next fiction film projects.

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Director Statement

When I made Perdition County, I intended to paint a picture of a violent yet alluring world, which would tell the story of a man’s pilgrimage to reclaim his humanity and his struggle against dogma. The idea came from a series of illustrations that I had drawn. At that time, I was inspired by the music of Jonny Greenwood and Krzysztof Penderecki and driven by my frustration with dogma and the never-ending cycle of oppression and violence
I wanted to make these illustrations come to life in the form of a classic odyssey; an ideal vessel in which to explore a character arc grounded in this timeless setting that would be visually compelling and liberating. It was important to paint this odyssey with a considerable scope and density to make the audience experience this short film as an engaging journey that almost feels like a feature film
The film breathes something universal in a setting that exudes antiquity, and poses the question: “Could or should someone be granted a second chance at life after he has long crossed an ethical line?”
The origins and motives of the antagonist, the dogma portrayed in the film, are expressed almost exclusively through imagery. It is through this abstraction that I found the antagonist to be at its strongest and its most compelling; as a force of nature that represents the unfathomable lengths of human cruelty.
Despite it being a colossal undertaking for a student short film, it was still made with a very low budget and instead with a lot of heart; which made me work fast and intuitively, with great freedom and with a stellar crew that didn’t mind the demanding journey to the ends of the earth.