Set in a community on the edge of civilisation, Rob Zywietz’s NFTS short Port Nasty follows a young boy growing-up in an isolated, snow-covered Port Town and the rites of passage he has to endure to be accepted by his peers. A story examining the brutality of nature, the cold, dark narrative is perfectly paired with a stark, distinctive style to create a short brimming with atmosphere and full of relatable themes.
Inspired to create his film after traveling to some icy environments, watching plants and animals survive in extreme weather was the catalyst for a story that also touches on themes of death and survival. Adding to the tradition of setting uncompromising narratives in frozen landscapes (The Thing, The Terror), Zywietz admits he was looking to take his viewers “somewhere they don’t want to go” with his relentless short.
With its storyline in place, the success of Port Nasty relied on its director and his crew creating an atmosphere that was both palpable and unsettling and they really do a sterling job. With a production lasting around six months, Zywietz and his team use a striking aesthetic and layered sound design to magnifying the tension of the piece and increase the always present feeling of dread.
With Port Nasty now released online, Zywietz can turn his focus to two new shorts he’s working on; Mirror a four-minute short about to enter the festival circuit and Freibad a 20-minute film about to go into post.