Private Project

The Punishment

A grief-stricken father hunts down the boy responsible for the events which led to his son’s murder but finds himself unable to escape the consequences of his own violent actions.

  • Chris Sexton Fletcher
  • Chris Sexton Fletcher
  • Reece Cargan
  • Cal MacAninch
    Key Cast
    Calibre, Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge
  • Jenni Keenan Green
    Key Cast
  • Ronan Doyle
    Key Cast
    Dark Road
  • Kirsty Strain
    Key Cast
    Anna and the Apocalypse, Outlander
  • Jim Sweeney
    Key Cast
    "Michael's Boss"
    Outlander, Tommy's Honour, The Wee Man
  • Ryan Sykes
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Drama, Mystery
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 3, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Screen Academy Scotland
  • Atlanta Shortsfest
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    Award for Best Drama Short
  • Beaufort International Film Festival
    Beaufort, SC
    United States
    February 18, 2021
    World Premiere
    Award for Best Student Short Film
  • Chattanooga Film Festival
    United States
    June 24, 2021
    Official Selection

    United Kingdom
    Official Selection
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival

    United States
  • Glasgow Short Film Festival Film Schools Day

    United Kingdom
    Official Selection
  • Macon Film Festival
    Macon, GA
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival
    Melbourne, FL
    December 4, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Sunscreen Film Festival

    United States
    May 1, 2021
    Florida Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Chris Sexton Fletcher

I am a UK-trained filmmaker based in the United States and working around the world.

Assistant Professor of Film & Program Manager of the Digital Cinema A.S. at State College of Florida.

Currently screening my short crime drama, THE PUNISHMENT, at film festivals all over the United States.

Projects in development include a feature-length exploration of the world and story of THE PUNISHMENT, and the cosmic horror feature film, SIXTY-SIX TERRA PLAZA.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was compelled to write and direct THE PUNISHMENT by news reports from Northern Ireland of parents bringing their children to be beaten by sectarian paramilitaries as punishment for antisocial behaviour. As I considered a worldview that could normalise such drastic action, I decided to make a film that would explore the aftermath of a punishment beating.

To better use the resources at hand, I shifted the action of THE PUNISHMENT to Scotland and set it in a gang context. The parent and the punisher became a single character: Michael, a gang enforcer whose son has just died as a result of injuries sustained in a punishment beating.

Michael leaves home and goes on a journey across Glasgow to resolve his inner turmoil, but as repetition within the staging and the mise en scene suggests, there is no way for Michael to escape his responsibility for the death of his son.

In THE PUNISHMENT, I use the edges of the frame to exclude the other characters who populate Michael’s milieu. This encourages the viewer to watch Michael closely and to draw their own conclusions about his thoughts and feelings based on his reaction to the events happening around him.