Unrepentant, the latest short film from Yarnmaker, won Best Musical Score and Best Cinematography at the Wildsound Toronto Film Festival on Saturday 12th March 2011, after a screening at the National Film Board's cinema in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto.
Unrepentant raises the ethical question of sex offenders who have served their incarceration time, but psychologically are highly likely to re-offend. It is a difficult subject with no easy answers.
The film's composer, Benedict Roff-Marsh, said "Interestingly I wrote the themes before I had seen anything. I just read the film's description and started composing from there. I loved the complexity of the subject in that it is hard for people to decide what is right here. I played to the uncertainty in everything; should we feel for him, or her?
"Jason, the Director, really let me build the music as part of the presentation and story; a soundscape as opposed to just a pretty collection of notes to fill the gaps. We made music morph into noise and back again to heighten the tension. It drags you into the subject and situation, a bit claustrophobic even".
Director Jason Kempnich agrees, "I really wanted us to explore the use of noise as another way of communicating with the audience on a subconscious level. Not just sound effects, and not quite music either, but a derivative of music that works as part of the score. This was right up Benedict's alley; we were on the same page from day one".
As Director/Cinematographer, Jason was also thrilled to win the Best Cinematography award in the same festival. "We really went out on a visual limb with Unrepentant. Muted tones, empty rooms, featureless walls; I was concerned in the quest for prison realism I may have overstepped the mark. We were also one of the first short films in the country to shoot on an EOS 5D Mark 2, which only further added to my concern. You do your best but you can only have a gut feeling for how it's working. You never truly know how it went until an audience receives it. I guess the risks we took worked!"
More information on Unrepentant the short film can be found at the film's website.