Stranger Things

“Do I know you?” That’s the question Justine must ask when confronted by Roald, a young man who claims to have met her the year before. Does she really not remember him or is it all part of an elaborate game the two have been playing since last year?

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Joel Salaysay

Filmmaker’s statement

“The idea for Stranger Things is the kind that comes to you at three in the morning when you’ve been left alone for too long.

The premise is an homage to the Alain Resnais film, Last Year at Marienbad (1961). While that film was a surrealist exercise in anti-narrative, mine is a light, plot-driven dramedy.

I have a lot of people to thank for making this film possible: my cinematographer, Christian Lai, who faced the challenge of putting together these complex multi-camera setups, and who flew the camera down the street backwards in the shot we described as ‘Woody Allen on Crack.’

Thank you to my assistant director, Rheanna Toy, who kept things sane and moving while the clock kept ticking, and to the other members of my crew who had to deal with sound and lighting issues aplenty for the whole duration of the shoot.

And lastly, I have to thank my two actors, Robyn Thomas and Tim Zhang, for their time, talent and dedication to these characters. With a premise as strange as this one, it can be very difficult to sell the choices a character makes, and you had me believing every minute.

I’m very excited and grateful that I get to share this film on a platform such as the NSI Online Short Film Festival. I hope as many people as possible watch, enjoy and share this film, which was made at a wonderful time in my life.”

About Joel Salaysay


Born in Winnipeg, Joel Salaysay is a Vancouver-based filmmaker currently in his fourth year at Simon Fraser University’s film program.

Stranger Things is his second student short to be featured by the NSI Online Film Festival (after his absurdist comedy, Buttfuck Nowhere).

He is currently in post-production on his grad project, Lifers, a semi-autobiographical narrative following the exploits of a dishwasher, as well as his colourful group of co-workers.

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