Picking up the award for Best Local film at the 2016 Ramsgate Film Festival is Kent based filmmaker Mark Bousfield’s Ghost Nets. Crowd funded on Kickstarter from a very humbling £5k, Ghost Nets is a short film thriller but what it lacks in budget and run time it more than compensates for with its multi layered ambition.
The film follows brothers Neal (Joe Sowerbutts), Jack (Bruce Lawrence) and his partner, Matilda (Charlotte Mounter) as they look to seek a surfer’s quiet getaway at an isolated beach. However, it soon becomes clear that this get away may have something a little more sinister in store for them. With tensions bubbling under the surface between the brothers, its a horrifying discovery that washes up on the beach that sets in motion a chain of events that will change their lives.
Given the budgetary constraints of the film, its strength very much comes from the depth of the story. By managing to craft a psychological thriller intertwined with high stakes drama, dark revelations and have elements of redemption, all wrapped up within 27 minutes is an impressive feat.
Visually the film is incredibly impressive. Cinematographer Jordan Ford has made the most of the beautifully eerie natural landscape of the beach and cliffs of Joss Bay in Kent. The setting manages to add a real sense of isolation and sets the dark tone for what is to come.
It is only really hindered by its run time. With such a rich vein of story and the dense layers of each character slowly being peeled back this could easily have been explored & developed further. Yet what director Mark Bousfield has managed to achieve on a micro budget is a lean mystery that constantly manages to intrigue and evolve into a thrilling tale of revelations and redemption.
With a keen eye for detail and character development, ifthis is what Bousfield can achieve on a limited budget and in only 27 minutes, I can’t wait to see what is next for him.