A woman kneels in a crumbling ruin and wakes, as if from a dream, to see the wasteland surround her. Without warning, a young girl appears, reaching out to the woman and beckoning her to follow. She has something to show her.

The woman follows the girl as she runs through all manner of different landscapes; more crumbling ruins, de-saturated forests, and desolate fields. Eventually, the woman catches up to the girl. For the first time, she glimpses what the girl is trying to show her; a reality that she struggles to accept. Eventually, she rejects it

The girl beckons her once more; reaching her hand out to the woman, begging her to see. The woman follows the girl once again, though she is more hesitant this time. The girl eventually leads the woman to a decrepit barn, where she is confronted by the girl’s dead body. Shocked, she tries to run, but is then confronted with the truth - she is the one who is dead. Both the girl and the woman’s experiences mingle, colliding in a black and red void of memory and denial. Eventually, the woman has to accept the fact that she and the girl are one and the same, and the pair hold hands and face the future.

The woman wakes in the barn once again and the cycle begins anew. Will she change it this time?

  • S.J. van Breda
    Grey, Sentience
  • S.J. van Breda
    Grey, Sentience
  • Benjamin Janicki
    Shieldmaiden, Sentience
  • Paige Gibbs
    Key Cast
    Supergirl, Belladonnas
  • Anna Belle Babcock
    Key Cast
    "Young Girl"
  • Kent Donguines
    Associate Producer
    Iridescence, Grey, Small Fish
  • Ida Faldt
    Associate Producer
    Grey, Devia
  • S.J. van Breda
    Grey, The Certainty Machine, The Belladonnas
  • Fred Imbach
  • Jacobo Salame Seyde
  • Fernanda Lopez Diaz
    Production Designer
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
    Experimental, Drama, Music
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - S.J. van Breda

S.J. van Breda was born on the 2nd of November 1991 in Durban, South Africa. She graduated Vancouver Film School with specialisations in Directing, Post-Production and Cinematography. Before arriving at VFS, she studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town and worked in the aerospace research industry for two years

She is currently a freelance editor, working on commercials, music videos and short films. Her debut short film, Sentience, is currently on the festival circuit and won the Golden Ibex at KIFF 2017. Her short documentary ‘I Can Do That’ was a top 10 finalist in the 2018 edition of Nespresso Talents.

She will be participating in the Blackbird Film Festival 2019 with her experimental short dance film ‘Grey’ and has been invited to the Pigneto Film Festival 2019 to shoot a short film in Rome. She is developing a short film and documentary which delves into the true story of transgender soccer coach Kaig Lightner and a feature length version of Sentience.

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Director Statement

The story of RUNAWAY is an allegory for the pervasive culture of allowing the abuse of women and dismissing allegations of such abuse. Not only do men participate in the cover-up of such behaviour, but women are also guilty of turning a blind eye to members of their own sex.

In RUNAWAY, the young girl represents a woman who is making an allegation of abuse. The woman represents a woman the girl is making an allegation to. The girl tries to show the woman the abuse, leading her through buildings and meadows and forests to help her see the truth. But the woman is reluctant, even though she catches glimpses of the abuse with her own eyes.

Eventually, the woman is forced to confront the abuse when she discovers the young girl lying dead. But then the young girl is replaced by her own body. It is here that we see that by refusing to see what the girl has been trying to show her, the woman has effectively killed herself. The betrayal of her own sex will only lead to the perpetuation of the cycle of abuse - and the next time it may be her.

The primary motifs used in RUNAWAY are the colour red, plastic and nature. The colour red is used in the alternate realm; a space where the women is taken to experience what has happened to the young girl. Here, the cinematography has elements of the red motif. The blood that the woman sees on the young girl and herself contrasts against the desaturated, bleak nature surrounding them.

Thin plastic sheets are used in both the real world and the alternate realm. This is a reference to the superficiality of the world the woman lives in. The world the woman is trying to live in is fake and only concerned with image.

Nature also plays a large role in RUNAWAY, contrasting with the alternate realm. Nature is seen as bleak, desolate and lonely. This shows the inner world of the woman, and how she feels traveling through life.