World Music & Independent Film Festival
Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival

starring Mahmoud El-Khatib John Calvin Doyle Make-up/Special FX by Nichelle Johnson and Wade Cutrell Music by Carlos U. Garza Sound Design by John Shryock Cinematography by Daryl Pittman Written, Produced, and Directed by Anthony Faust

"A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE" (2009) is a 10 minute short film written, produced, and directed by Anthony Faust. It was filmed on 35mm film on location in Northern Virginia.

The film is notable for its lack of dialogue and unique color grading. In 2011, Director Anthony Faust was recognized for his writing when he was awarded Best Screenplay in 2011 at the World Music & International Film Festival.

Purchase a copy of the film on iTunes for only $2.99.

"A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE" (2009) is about a jailed man who hatches a clever (and sinister) plan to rid the massive rock in his father's backyard.

Director Anthony Faust, Director of Photography Daryl Pittman, and Composer Carlos Garza each interpreted the story differently, and incorporated this interpretation in their work for the film.

The theme of FAMILY was explored by Director of Photography Daryl Pittman, who chose to use a chocolate filter to illustrate the "rust" that had accumulated between the father, played by Mahmoud El-Khatib, and the inmate, played by John Calvin Doyle, in the film.

The filter created the film's unique look and subsconsciously reminds the audience of the rift between the two men, who are never seen together in the film.

Composer Carlos Garza decided to examine the theme of POWER. The film is divided into two halves. The first half of the film shows the inmate and his father in a powerLESS position and the police officers and prison guard in a powerFUL position.

In the second half of the film, the roles are reversed. Carlos used snare drums, often used in marching parades and drum corps, to evoke feelings of authority as a leitmotif for the police officers and prison guard scenes.

Director Anthony Faust dramatized the theme of INTELLIGENCE in the film. Every cut in the editing room was informed by the idea that the story shows a man devising a clever plan to help his father, even though the man is trapped in a 8x6 foot jail cell.

But the film's climax doesn't just show this plan coming to fruition. It also communicates to the audience the REASON why the man is in jail in the first place.

"A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE" (2009) was sold to Shorts International in 2012. The terms of agreement include an exclusive 10 year contract for distribution on iTunes.


  • 2011 Rehoboth Film Festival
  • 2011 WMIFF Film Festival - WINNER for Best Screenplay
  • 2011 Clifton Film Festival


Mahmoud El-Khatib


John Calvin Doyle


Rett Warren


Gina Limbrick


Jon Yu


Ben Solenberger


Anthony Faust


Daryl Pittman


John Shryock


Carlos U. Garza

  • Old guy staring at rock
  • Old guy writing letter
  • Letter pleading help me
  • Old guy mailing letter
  • Guard delivering letter
  • Inmate with broken nose
  • Guard looking mean
  • Guard on the lookout
  • Inmate thinking
  • Maximum security prison

All photos by Daryl Pittman.