Headshot courtesy of Peter Feysa
Headshot courtesy of Peter Feysa

A Madison Park filmmaker will screen his six-minute thriller at the Seattle Shorts Festival in November.

Director Peter Feysa will see his movie “Dead in the Water” screen at the festival Nov. 13. The festival runs Nov. 11-13 at the SIFF Film Center in lower Queen Anne.

The art house mystery follows two harbor detectives on boat patrol as a routine stop turns into a murder investigation.

“Dead in the Water” will have its world premiere at the Seattle Shorts Festival, but it initially one third place overall and Best Cinematography in the 48 Hour Film Project.

The 48 Hour Film Project is a contest requiring entrants to write, shoot, edit and score a short film in two days.

“Quite literally, the night of the contest, all the filmmakers are basically in the same room together,” Feysa said. “We literally pulled genres out of a hat. We pulled police/detective.”

Additionally, they pulled one character and one line of dialogue that had to be added to the story.

Feysa and his team, Never a Dull Boy Jack Productions, wrote through the night until, at 6 a.m., they were able to hand off a complete draft of their screenplay to the crew.

Production began immediately. Feysa had decided to place the story on a yacht, allowing the film to grab stunning aerial shots of the boat on Lake Washington (via drone-operate camera) and emulate aspects of the Roman Polanski film “Knife on the Water.”

“We really didn’t have an idea of how it would go or how it would play out,” Feysa said. “Up until [the end of the contest] I thought it would be a disaster. When you’re writing a story in the confines of a boat, sticking it in one location, you can have inspiration, or it could be a disaster.”

Feysa said he almost despaired entirely. And he might have, if it weren’t for his producer Sandra Lince.

“I was sitting in my chair wondering how this would play out,” he said. “She had this sudden burst of energy, and she said ‘Let’s do this, let’s pull it together and get creative and get this done.’”

That was enough to see them through to the end.

It worked out. “Dead in the Water” took Best Cinematography in the contest and third place overall.

Feysa’s been making short films for 10 years.

The son of a military family that settled in Bremerton, Feysa moved to Madison Park a decade ago as an actor. On audition, he recalled he was reading for a role when he became frustrated.

“The script was horrible and the project was... it was just uneventful,” he said. “It didn’t captivate me in any way.”

He walked out and called up one of his friends with an idea: If they hated the roles being given, they would write films themselves, and cast themselves in their dream roles.

“We must have made close to 45 or 50 films,” Feysa said. “But I would say only three years of films that I would actually show people.”

He laughed.

“Nobody told me that in the beginning.”

Feysa has no plans of slowing down. After winning Best Horror Short for "The Graveyard Shift" in both the Berlin Film Festival and the Oregon Independent Film Festival, he's in production on a short black comedy, "A Shot at Redemption," which he plans to take to the European festival circuit next year. 

He is also working on his first feature film, "Hands of Thunder." Shooting is planned to begin in 2017.