Klifford Barkus latest film, “Last Resort,” has seen some success at multiple film festivals this year. While he is surprised by the accolades, the biggest achievement for him has been more about helping and providing a way to shed light on the dark subject.
Barkus, whose from Reedsburg, said the short film a man suffering from depression and contemplating suicide has won some awards and nominations from film festivals, including an award from the Merit Award at the Awareness Film Festival. He also showed his film to a local audience Sept. 12 at the Avalon Ballroom in Reedsburg.
However, he can’t release the 15 minute film to the public on his YouTube Channel Space Kadet Entertainment yet because the film is still entered in some other film festivals.
“It will be awhile,” he said.
While he said there is some competition at the festivals between film makers and production companies he said everyone in film industry is “one giant creative family” and supports each other. Barkus shared he is still a beginner at producing films. He takes on multiple roles in his films from acting to editing, including producing the music for his films. He uses his iPad, smart phone and computer to record his scenes and sound effects.
“It’s been a lot of work,” he said.
For those who have seen Last Resort he said he has received comments from people who watch the film, who tell him it’s a positive film. But mainly he receives questions from viewers about how he had to relive some of the scenes in the film. “Last Resort” is based on Barkus’ own experience when he suffered through depression and attempted suicide five years ago.
“It’s a matter of pushing forward,” he said of getting himself through the experience. “When I was at my lowest it gave me time to think about certain things and one of them was I don’t be at this point again.”
Barkus started filming “Last Resort” as a way to push his creativity and tell his own story as a way to spread awareness with both subjects. His two other films are comedies, “Laundry Day” and “Midwest Problems,” that can be found on his YouTube Channel Space Kadet Entertainment.
“The reason why I made the film was to help people raise the awareness (about suicide),” he said. “It’s not about being liked it’s about being able to help people.”
While he’s still entered in some festivals for his third film, he’s already in the process of editing his fourth, a comedy titled “The Survivors Guide of a Newspaper Carrier.” The film is based off of Barkus’ own experience and what he’s learned as a newspaper delivery person when he’s running late; the film will have the keep pressing forward theme with a comedic touch.
While he considers himself a perfectionist with all of his films he said the comedy genre feels like home for him because he gets a chance to relax and “be goofy” with the filming process. However, he hinted he wouldn’t shy away from another film on serious topics in the future.
“I might have a few dark ones in my pocket,” he said. “Maybe not as dark as (Last Resort).”