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INTRUDER: A Short Film

Blake, a college junior, desperately trying to battle their reality-bending mental intrusions, finally seeks out the help they need. But an Intruder lurks in the shadows of their mind, resurfacing thoughts that can either heal or break them.


Director's Note

Around a year and a half ago, when I was a third year in my undergraduate program, I was struggling significantly with my mental health. I was struggling with focusing in class, I had very little motivation for the projects I cared about in my life, and my anxieties were at an all time high. To be quite frank: I was going through it. I remember feeling this weight as if something was pulling me down and was blacking out my worldview. I felt like I had a dark shadow that followed me constantly, day in and day out, and fed on my anxieties and insecurities.

And that's how INTRUDER was born.

When I finally took a moment to think about the "intruder" as a personified figure, images and a vague storyline began to unfold in my brain. Thinking about it as a real figure and putting a name to it started to lighten the load a little in my mind.

At the same time, my undergraduate program's year-long Senior Honors Projects deadline was only a day or two away. I decided to take a risk and use this concept as my thesis of exploring how to tell stories that revolve around trauma and intense events without traumatizing audiences and the people involved in telling the story. I reached out to one of my mentors at the time to oversee my project, originally agreeing to write and film a mock-up of what the film could be, and began the journey to where this film is now: a fully-produced short film where I got the chance to work with dozens of insanely creative & talented people. 

While I am constantly working on improving my mental health, I am happy to say that I am in a much better place now and have worked hard to take better care of myself. This film came from a dark place, but I hope that this film is a light to help others out from the same struggles. Along with the original thesis I had explored, an important goal for me was to tell a story that "disturbs the comfortable & comforts the disturbed". In other words, I hope that this film reaches the people who were in the same boat as Blake, as myself at one point, to show them and comfort them with the knowledge that they are not alone.

An important factor I wanted to include within this film was a different facet of the queer experience. A large discussion within the queer-storytelling community is telling stories that delve deeper into our experiences than simply the labels we use. The main character, Blake, is nonbinary, and while it is imbedded in who they are and the way they see the world, this story explores outside of that main focal point. I wanted to focus INTRUDER on also exploring stories with queer people as the central characters without the story being only about them being queer in general.

To sum things up, I hope this film reaches the people that it needs to, and I hope it brings them solace the way it brought it to me.

Abbs Stoiber
Creator of INTRUDER

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Follow the journey of INTRUDER.

The INTRUDER Instagram page shows exclusive stills from the film, behind-the-scenes content, and important updates and information on the film's progress.

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