The 4-minute horror short HALLWAY beat out thousands of others to become an official selection at Comicpalooza's Film Festival, where it premiered on June 18th. 22-year-old writer/director Issam Rayess also received a unique honor as recipient of the inaugural CryptTV Emerging Artist Award. The award comes with a distribution deal.
Rayess, a Syrian national, is currently pursuing his BA at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He created HALLWAY as part of a multi-media project; the University provided him with the hardware, and the short was filmed in an actual abandoned building without permits. For props and incidentals, Rayess spent about $50. The end result though is nothing short of spectacular; a chilling creeper that can go toe-to-toe with anything produced in Hollywood with big bucks.
HALLWAY focuses on a man who wanders through a decaying structure where he confronts unimaginable terrors. Rayess takes the POV model to new heights in a film that quite literally pulls you into the nightmare. Exquisite editing and a haunting soundscape combine to create a mood of palpable dread. Rayess' ability to distill the quintessential essence of horror into 4 short minutes proves he's a filmmaker of unusual promise.
When asked about his creative inspirations and aspirations, Rayess responded:
CryptTV hopes to establish partnerships with other prominent film festivals in order to bring the Emerging Artist Award to talented up-and-comers worldwide.
Co-founded by Eli Roth, CryptTV creates original genre content guided by its motto #WeirdIsGood. Together we create and share the dark, edgy and different stories that bind us. Follow CryptTV and join the #CryptFamily to be part of the movement that celebrates who you are.