Winnipeg filmmaker hopes short film a Harbinger of success at Gimli Film Festival

A Winnipeg filmmaker is eagerly awaiting the debut of his latest short film – one created entirely over the span of 48 hours.

Film features score from local composer Kristen Wachniak

The film depicts the struggles of a woman, played by Teela Tomassetti, who wakes up in a white void and what she does to try and escape it. (Jean-Jacques Javier/Supplied)

A Winnipeg filmmaker is eagerly awaiting the debut of his latest short film — one created entirely from scratch over a span of just 48 hours.

Jean-Jacques Javier's Harbinger is set to have its premiere on July 29 at the Gimli Film Festival. The three-minute, 20-second short was created as part of the Winnipeg Film Group's annual 48 Hours film contest.

The film is centred on the experiences of a woman, Ladee (Teela Tomassetti), who wakes up in what Javier described as a "white void" and tries to understand why she's there and how to escape it while contending with family issues, he told CBC.

This year's 48 Hours contest was held over the weekend of June 16-18. In addition to having to complete the film so quickly, entrants also faced several unexpected twists meted out by organizers at the start of the contest. 

Those included being told to cut the film down by 40 seconds (usually entrants get four minutes), including a visual element shot on an iPhone, and using a Manitoba musician to score the piece, Javier said.

He took them in stride, suggesting that's just the way the world works.

"Now you have to think on your feet, which I think is what a director has to do anyway," Javier said. "You don't really know what you're going to get, and you have to go with the flow once you get your items."

Harbinger was scored by local composer Kristen Wachniak. Javier said her "surrealist" music was just what the film needed.

Having such a compressed timeframe to create was challenging, but ultimately worthwhile, he said.

"It was a great experience," he said. "Ultimately (it) was very trying … but we're all very excited to go to Gimli and see how far this can go."

Javier's hope is to see the film screened at other festivals following its debut.