Private Project

Sleeping Dogs

Part serious crime thriller, part coming of age drama-comedy, Sleeping Dogs follows a former hard-as-nails crook struggling to settle into his dull domestic life. It all goes wrong when an enemy from his past shows up, sending him into a downward spiral of paranoia and fear, tempting him to return to his old ways. That night, when he confronts the rival, he is forced to accept the way his life has changed, and abandon his dark guilt-ridden past once and for all.

  • Chris Fowles
  • Geoff Gedroyc
  • Joe Jones
  • Joe McGann
    Key Cast
    The Upper Hand, Casualty, Truckers
  • Joe Tucker
    Key Cast
    Bronson, Secrets & Lies, Career Girls
  • Sarah Champion
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Crime
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 17, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Screentest: The National Student Film Festival
    April 17, 2015
    World Premiere
    Nom: Best Short, Best Performance
  • Aesthetica Short Film Festival
    York, UK
    November 5, 2015
    Nominated - Best Thriller
  • Budapest Film Festival
    Kino Cinema, Budapest.
    September 4, 2015
  • Zealous Film Festival
    January 10, 2016
    Nominated: Best Short film
  • Bournemouth Independent Film Festival
    Bournemouth, UK.
    October 9, 2015
  • Manchester International Film Festival
    March 3, 2016
    Nom: Best Student Film
  • Lisbon International Film Festival
    Lisbon, Portugal
    January 21, 2016
    National Premiere
    Nom: Best Short
Director Biography - Chris Fowles

Chris currently works as an in-house director in London for commercials and online content. His previous films have been shown at festivals around the country and one of his first live-action shorts went on to win the top prize at the Hertfordshire Film Festival. He is a recent graduate from the Bournemouth Film School.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I should start by stating that I have a very short attention span. It's often the case that if a film does not grab me by the throat in the first few minutes, I struggle to regain concentration.

Sleeping Dogs was conceived first and foremost as an entertaining short film. Yes, we were determined to tell a truthful character-driven story, but it was equally important to us that the genre elements kept it fun to watch, that the moments of humour and suspense could keep an audience engaged and on their toes.

The idea that really excited all of us was a making a short film that could satisfy on so many levels. What keeps us gripped moment-to-moment is the tension of whether or not this strange man is dangerous and whether either of them is going to make a move. But what we get at the end of it all is a story about family, letting go of the past and learning to accept growing older.

A constant pressure during writing and post-production was keeping the running time in check. For a short film, the plot is actually quite complicated and there is a large amount of back story involved. Geoff and I were always concerned about how long the film would end up and how much of this back story to convey directly and how much to imply, letting the audience eagerly fill in the blanks.

There were many naysayers. At one point it was advised that the film should be written as a feature instead. That's certainly an argument, but ultimately, I think this is a small story with a simple poignant arc. Hopefully the film will just leave you wanting more!

It took us almost a year to complete the script, and the worries about length became an advantage. It had forced us to look at each element carefully, thinking about what information was important, what we could show visually and how quickly we could keep the story moving. There are, as always so many different ways this could have been done, but in the end I hope enjoy the creative decisions we made.