Short: Rock. Paper. Scissors.

“A surreal dreamscape of the space between life and death. Through visual elegance and hypnotic performances, the viewer is drawn into the puzzle where time, memory and trauma intertwine.”  Aleksandra Szymczyk, Filmed Up Panel Member

  • Synopsis

When a man wakes up with no memories in a world where people interact through a game of Rock Paper Scissors, he must solve the mystery of his predicament and consider his relationship with death.

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  • About the filmmaker / the team

Director Dmitry Torgovitsky was born in Moscow, Russia.  He majored in Physics at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, before moving to the USA to study molecular biology, supporting himself in a variety of jobs ranging from dishwashing in a Japanese restaurant to delivering helium balloons! After a few years of working in the labs, Torgovitsky sent himself to NYU to study film. But he received what he considers his “real film education” at the Millennium Film Workshop, and by watching hundreds of films at Anthology Film Archives and the now-defunct Theater 80. Torgovitsky has made a few short films, notably Chosa, Milieu and Looking for Something Special which played successfully in festivals. His recent feature screenplay Grim Game competed successfully in numerous script competitions.

Writer John Fraser shares a similar background to Dmitry in that he graduated in Science followed by a Master’s in Business Administration.  He has a long-held interest in photography and writing, has won various competitions and had articles published in a variety of publications.  John started writing screenplays five years ago and Rock Paper Scissors marks his fourth short film to be produced over the past three years, with another one currently in pre-production.  John and Dmitry recently completed their first full-length feature script and that is currently under consideration at a number of screen play competitions, both in Europe and the US.

In his day job, John works as a Process Engineer and is currently on assignment with an Oil & Gas major in the Middle East.  He is based in Cheadle Hulme with his wife and 2 children and has lived in Greater Manchester for more than 20 years since moving down from his native Scotland.

Credits: Director Dmitry Torgovitsky; Writer John Alexander Fraser; Producers John Alexander Fraser, Dr. Nuran Fraser, Dmitry Torgovitsky

  • How did the film come about

John and Dmitry started collaborating through InkTip when Dmitry asked if he could read a short script that John had written.  From that initial exchange, the idea for Rock Paper Scissors crystallised and was developed based on various sources of inspiration, including the Adrian Lyne-directed psychological thriller, Jacob’s Ladder.  The film itself was shot in New York by Dmitry and a crew during 2019 and is currently entered into various events, including being selected for the Clermont-Ferrand film market in France.

  • Would you like to watch more short films by North West filmmakers?

This screening is part of Filmed Up, our regular North West short film night, which is on every three months in our cinemas.

Until we can watch films together on a big screen, you can get your fix of short films from the region in small regular doses by signing up to our Filmed Up mailing list

It is free to sign up and there is the option to give a little bit of money towards Filmed Up should you wish to. The films will also be published on our website every week but by signing up you’ll receive them straight to you inbox.

9 minutes


Country of origin:
Great Britain and USA

Year of production: