Experiencing Interruptions?

The Duel

A sixteen-year-old girl must save her younger brother from the dangerous reality of their father's sudden mental breakdown.

  • Sean David Christensen
  • Lili Taylor
    American Crime, To The Bone
  • Sean David Christensen
  • Kevin Allison
  • Aaron Gambel
  • Lili Taylor
    Key Cast
    American Crime, To The Bone
  • Richard Neil
    Key Cast
  • Katherine Marie Koenig
    Key Cast
  • Matthew Miller
    Key Cast
  • Melanie Case
    Key Cast
  • Aaron Gambel
    Director of Photography
  • Sean David Christensen
  • Rafael Anton Irisarri
  • Maggie Dave
  • Rafael Anton Irisarri
    Sound Editing
  • Sean David Christensen
  • Sarah M. Gonzales
    Set Dresser
  • Jana Stella
    Assistant Director
  • Richie Trimble
    Camera Operator
  • Caleb Bucy
    Key Grip & Swing
  • Mike DiRicco
  • Nicole Neri
    Publicity photography
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Spoken word, Storytelling, Experimental narrative, Drama, Suspense
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 3, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    8,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD Video
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Athens International Film + Video Festival
    Athens, OH
    United States
    April 8, 2017
    North American Premiere
  • Capital City Film Festival
    Lansing, MI
    United States
    April 6, 2017
  • SF DocFest
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    June 3, 2017
    California Premiere
  • Marfa Film Festival
    Marfa, TX
    United States
    July 14, 2017
    Texas Premiere
Director Biography - Sean David Christensen

Sean David Christensen is an artist who works in animation, illustration and experimental documentary. As both a filmmaker and graphic designer, his work has been featured at the San Francisco International Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, Hi/Lo Film Festival, Tacoma Film Festival, Atlanta Underground Film Festival, the Nevada City Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, Little Big Shots: Australian International Animation Festival, Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival & the Sony Pictures Wet Paint Animation Festival.

His documentaries have been seen at the Angelika Film Center, Film Independent: Los Angeles, Phoenix Art Museum, dA Center for the Arts, Arizona State University Art Museum & LUX Scotland. Online, his artwork & design has been featured on Buzzfeed, The A.V. Club, Gawker, Fandor, Boing Boing and his animated documentary The Sandwich Movie was named a Vimeo Staff Pick in 2010. On television, his work has been shown on PBS.

Of his short film Fan Mail, Jonathan Kiefer of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle called it "One of the best shorts of 2009." Amy R. Handler of Moving Pictures has described his filmmaking as "Brilliant...fragile & hypnotic," and Sundance Award-winning director Jay Rosenblatt described Christensen's Empty House as, "Evocative...it does what many short films fail to do, makes you wish it were longer."

Christensen lives and works in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I have always been engaged with the concept of interpretive memory as it relates to filmmaking. Like most editors, we all choose what we want to remember and what we'd rather forget. We constantly interpret our past. The process of our minds parsing which details are treasured, and which ones are scrubbed away either through force of will or by self-preservation, is an ephemeral one that leaves no easy answers.

I have been the sole custodian of my own visualized past with my prior films, creating surreal, family narratives using the mechanism of experimental documentary. With my work, there was always a sense of ease and playfulness, due to the familiarity with the subjects, obviously. The resulting portraiture was endearing but never solemn or deferential. With "The Duel," however, I felt a sacred duty to honor Lili Taylor's experience as a young woman struggling to reach her father in the midst of a mental health episode by remaining completely faithful to her narrative by treating it as a studied examination of crisis.

Sowing together the bifurcation of the experimental documentary form that I had grown accustomed to over the years with the sobering clarity of Taylor's narration was an invigorating challenge - and one that I feel resulted in a more balanced piece that I am humbled to have been given the chance to develop.

-Sean David Christensen
October 9th, 2016