Private Project

ZTV Sympathy For the Devil

DOUGLAS SIKES, a convicted war criminal from the American Zombie War, runs a black-market trading ring from the bowels of a walled-in quarantine zone turned for-profit prison. He and the other prisoners live under the watchful eye of the ZTV broadcasting company, and at the whim of THE PREZERVE, a capital punishment reality game show that uses zombies, and horrific devices, to torture, infect, and execute prisoners and their families on prime time network television. PAUL, and his daughter, LILY, arrive at Doug’s home to find him grief-stricken and consumed with rage after his daughter Steffie’s gruesome episode has broadcast her terrible fate for all the world to see. Paul and Lily find themselves in the cross-fire as Doug readies to unleash bloody vengeance on the institution and the vengeful woman who has oppressed him.

  • Jason Ragosta
    Boy in the Dark, Uh Oh
  • Jason Ragosta
    Boy in the Dark, Love Hurts
  • Marisa Garay
    Hara Kiri, Uh Oh,
  • Margaret Caragan
    Boy in the Dark
  • Jason Ragosta
    Boy in the Dark
  • Maccallister Byrd
    Key Cast
    Strange Angel, Dredgewood
  • Molly Ratermann
    Key Cast
    Suicide, Lizzie Lost
  • Thomas Cokenias
    Key Cast
    Lasso, Fruitvale Station
  • Mitch Costanza
    Key Cast
    Doucheaholics, The Process
  • Cheyenne Costanza
    Key Cast
  • Daniel Sullivan
    Key Cast
    Losing Her, French Exit
  • Emilie Germain
    Key Cast
    Can't be Undone, Hara Kiri
  • Teresa Navarro
    Key Cast
    Sense8, Delirium
  • Colleen Carey
    Key Cast
    The Son, The Father, The Boy who lived Before
  • Pascal Combes-Knoke
  • Nick Ramsey
  • Justin Amore
    Three Skeleton Key,
  • Margaret Caragan
    Special Effects Makeup Head
    Fruitvale Station, Sorry to Bother You
  • Kinan Chabani
  • Susan DiBona
    Score Composers
    Bad Habits Die Hard
  • Salvatore Sangiovanni
    Score Composers
    Bad Habits Die Hard
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 30, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Alexa Mini Anamorphic
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Screamfest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    October 16, 2021
    Los Angeles Premiere
    Official Selection
  • FilmQuest
    Provo, Utah
    United States
    November 6, 2021
    MidWestern Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Horrible Imaginings Campfire Tales
    Santa Ana, CA
    United States
    October 3, 2021
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Mutiny Pictures
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Jason Ragosta

Jason Ragosta was born in Connecticut. He attended the Maryland Institute, College of Art and started working in stop motion animation at Wreckless Abandon Studios as a storyboard/concept artist and assistant cameraman,  before moving to the West coast to work in film. Jason then went on to manage a sound stage at the Academy of Art, University in San Francisco for actress, Diane Baker (Marnie, Silence of the Lambs) before working for a year as a Production Assistant in the editorial production office on the Disney film John Carter, directed by Andrew Stanton. From there, Jason spent a decade working in animation, independent films, commercials, and music videos, before completing his first independent short film, BOY IN THE DARK, followed by ZTV: SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL. He is currently in post-production on his short film Mother Love which is part of SINPHONY: A Clubhouse Horror Anthology.

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Director Statement

Creating the ZTV universe over the last few years has been a labor of love. It started with a feature-length screenplay that splintered into this proof of concept short film and the comic book series which I have been writing, and illustrating, to allow the story to expand beyond the limits of indie budgets. The original intention was to print the first issue of the comic (which has recently been completed) and have stacks of them on the post card tables at the festivals, unfortunately Covid had other plans, keeping all of us sheltering in place and Festivals going virtual. ZTV is the story of humanity pushed beyond its limits, it is a story of loss and pain, and the cruelest realities of being forced to see the true horror in oneself, of coming to grips with the monster one is forced to become when seeking vengeance loosely veiled in the name of justice. Please believe me when I tell you, this short film is only the beginning of a much larger story that will unfold over years to come.