Private Project

Yard Work

A Southern Gothic dark comedy about an old man who fights back after being taken advantage of by a stranger.

  • Justin T. Malone
    Smoke, Coworkers, Signing Day
  • Justin T. Malone
    Smoke, Coworkers, Signing Day
  • O'Shay Foreman
    Smoke, Signing Day, Couples Therapy
  • David Tankersley
    Key Cast
    One Came Home, N-Secure, Tennessee Queer
  • Zach Church
    Key Cast
    Signing Day
  • Sarah Perkins
    Key Cast
  • Joy Murphy
    Key Cast
    Mysteries at the Museum, They Live in the Shadows, If You're Gone
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Dark Comedy, Southern Gothic, Rough South
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 12, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    4,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Indie Memphis Film Festival
    Memphis, TN
    United States
    November 3, 2019
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Johnson City Film Festival
    Johnson City, TN
    United States
    November 9, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Atlanta Comedy Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    December 8, 2019
    Georgia Premiere
    Nominee - Best Dark Comedy
  • Southern Oasis Film Festival
    Knoxville, TN
    United States
    February 8, 2020
    Runner Up - Best Student Film
  • Tupelo Film Festival
    Tupelo, MS
    United States
    April 17, 2020
    Mississippi Premiere
    Offiical Selection
Director Biography - Justin T. Malone

Justin T. Malone is a rising Southern filmmaker with an eye for the grotesque, profane, and darkly humorous. Working in the Southern Gothic literary tradition, Justin's films typically focus on working class rural Southerners like the people he grew up around in West Tennessee.

Yard Work is Justin's fourth short film. Since debuting as a filmmaker in 2018, Justin's work has played all over the South at festivals in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. Yard Work was nominated for Best Student Film at the Tupelo (MS) Film Festival and nominated for Best Dark Comedy at the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival. It won Best Student Film Runner Up at the Southern Oasis Film Festival in Knoxville, TN.

Justin also received a Dean’s Outstanding Creative Achievement Award from the University of Memphis in recognition of Yard Work.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I grew up in a tiny community in rural West Tennessee. There’s a very distinct culture to isolated, rural Southern communities like mine, and I've never seen a movie where the characters look, or talk, or act like my people and me. That culture I'm talking about has nothing to do with drinking sweet tea, sittin’ on the porch, or saying “bless your heart.” It has to do with how we interact with each other and how we cope with trauma.

Yard Work is an attempt at documenting that culture the best way I know how. I tried to draw inspiration from my family, friends, and acquaintances in order to create a cast of laconic, detached characters who deal with even the grimmest of circumstances with a dark sense of humor. Characters who have to find ways to show each other they care, because they could never figure out how to say it. Characters who look out for one another even when it would be easier not to.

No 10 minute film could ever capture the kind of people I grew up around in all their weirdness and complexity, but I think Yard Work is a good start.