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Following a catastrophic TSUNAMI, American teen Keri wakes-up adrift on the open ocean. Her only hope for survival is aboard a broken down cargo ship with violent and mysterious castaways.
Fifteen-year-old KERI struggles for breath as she returns to consciousness in the open ocean. Battered and bruised she is adrift on debris that is quickly washing out to sea. The vanishing shoreline is a cacophony of sirens, screams and destruction. In an instant, her day at the beach, her idyllic American family vacation and her life as she knew it, is destroyed by a devastating TSUNAMI.
A massive corroded cargo ship looms over top of her. In danger of being crushed, an old fishing net is thrown to her from above. She makes the arduous and painful climb to the rusty deck and arrives to chaos. A drowned Italian woman lays on deck, her panicked husband attempts CPR. An injured woman in a 'suit scuba', SEO-YEON, bleeds heavily, her arm almost torn away. Staring daggers at Keri is MAK, a stern and serious Malaysian police officer who has clearly had his own struggle with Mother Nature.
This is no rescue ship.
The derelict ship is without engine, power or supplies and is quickly drifting into the vast open ocean and none of the survivors speak the same language.
Keri's battle for survival has just begun.
KERI - Amybeth McNulty
Anne With an E, Stranger Things, Maternal
MAK - Byron Mann
Wu Assassins, Skyscraper, Altered Carbon
BRETT SULLIVAN - Writer/Director
Brett has directed award winning features and TV Series. Ginger Snaps UNLEASHED, his feature directorial debut was a critical and box office success. It was followed by The Chair, a micro-budget indie that sold globally and received multiple international awards including BEST FEATURE at multiple film festivals. His third film was the cult hit Christmas Horror Story. Additionally Brett has helmed TV series, ORPHAN BLACK, FRONTIER, WYNONNA EARP, FLASHPOINT, THE BORDER and CRACKED. Also a highly accomplished editor, Brett won the CSA award for BEST DRAMATIC EDITING. Brett is a CFC Director Program graduate.
SIDNEY CHIU - Producer
With a focus on films with international appeal, his credits include LOVE JACKED, a Canadian South African romantic comedy starring Amber West and Keith David. COCONUT HERO a Canadian, German coproduction with UFA Fiction, BANG BANG BABY starring Jane Levy and Peter Stormare for Scythia Films. Sidney was also UPM on the mandarin romantic comedy FINDING MR RIGHT, which grossed over 80M USD. THREE DAYS IN HAVANA starring Gil Bellows directed by Tony Pantages and Gil Bellows, shot in Havana Cuba with EOne distributing in Canada. His first feature, A NIGHT FOR DYING TIGERS, written and directed by Terry Miles, premiered at TIFF 2012.
ADRIA BUDD JOHNSON - Producer
Adria is a writer/producer with over 20 years in television, film, animation, production and development. She wrote on the very first computer animated TV series, REBOOT and was on the creative team for two IMAX ride films. She produced and digitally released her first feature BEST DAY EVER, as well as multiple short films. Current projects in development are SOS with levelFilm, REMIND ME from award winning writer Andrew Rai Berzins, and the Superchannel Feature Documentary Indian Bandit-Queen turned Parliamentarian Phoolan Devi. Adria is a proud member of WGC, CMPA, WIFT-T, and a Transatlantic Partners Alumna.
ERIC JOHNSON - Writer
Eric's extensive career as an actor continues to thrive having starred in over 60 productions including the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY franchise, SMALLVILLE, Steven Soderbergh's THE KNICK, VIKINGS, CONDOR, AMERICAN GODS and the upcoming Warner TV and HBO MAX series PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: ORIGINAL SIN. His original screenplays have been in development with, Don Carmody TV, Mongrel Media, and Reunion Pictures. He was awarded the TIFF 2010 Irving Averich Emerging Filmmaker award for his debut feature BEST DAY EVER.
During the inception of this story, co-writer Eric Johnson and I were simpatico that S.0.S. is a brutal exploration of a young woman's struggle and triumph over adversity. The film will isolate Keri with no chance of escape or rescue. She isn't a superhero. She is an average teen thrust into survival mode.
Our concept for S.O.S. was infused by an experience I had directing a TV series on a large freighter. I realized the vessel was a character and could be both ally or adversary. The large ship allowed for incredible cinematic variation with many incredible views and vantage points as well as claustrophobic crawl spaces. Characters can get lost with the massive scale while simultaneously feeling trapped.
It's important to this film that Keri lives and dies by her own terms. Her life up to now has been sheltered. She has no relationship with violence, mortality nor morality. Her personal passage from victim to victor is the centerpiece to this story. Unlike many films with teenage girls portraying girlfriends, daughters or siblings, S.O.S. is the exploration of Keri and her internal prejudices and conceptions while clashing with the external environment and antagonists. Keri will sink to rock bottom before she can use this as a foundation to stand up and face her adversaries.
To further Keri's descent, American culture and language will isolate her in the midst of the other international survivors. Just as fresh water will be a critical and rare commodity while the freighter floats out to sea, Keri will be lonely and secluded among the other thirsty survivors. S.O.S. will examine the double edged machete of these thematic dualities of humanity. A peaceful man will use violence. A naive teen will outsmart her tormentors. A timid badly injured lady savagely clashes with killers. The cutthroat will be compassionate. For an audience to experience these human conditions most effectively, it is crucial that S.O.S. be honest and real.
For the audience to experience the horror and thrill of Keri's story, we must remain grounded, palpable and intimate. Keri's trauma isn't pretty or polished. It's dirty, shocking and disturbing. This isn't cartoon violence or action hero fighting. We are voyeurs, experiencing the atrocities with Keri.
This is a visceral journey and will be filmed handheld without long lens. The performances will be grounded authentic and real with extended takes. The lighting will be natural. The editing will favor longer shots that let story evolve in front of our eyes. The audience will remain with Keri 'in the moment'. To achieve this eye witness sensibility the cameras will need to be inside the action along with the actors. This will be filmed akin to a 'run and gun' documentary. To aide in achieving these results it is crucial that this film be shot 'in situation'. Crew and actors need to be on a real freighter on a real ocean.
The majority of my directing has been stories of young women finding their strength and courage while overcoming impossible obstacles. GINGER SNAPS, ORPHAN BLACK, A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY and WYNONNA EARP all have young women that are challenged by their circumstances and are forced to find their power emotionally and physically.
For Keri it is fight or flight... but flight isn't an option.
Let's witness her fight.
director, co-writer S.O.S.
Adria Budd Johnson
+1 416 820 1025
+1 604 837 0912
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