The Promise

The Promise

The Promise is a dance film about a young man who discovers the stranger he is having a relationship with is his future self.


The film starts with our young man, Avery, walking in a field. He meets Chauncey, a lonely stranger, and engages him; the two begin to move together. The relationship starts to evolve as their support for one another turns into a romantic connection, falling out of the waking life into dream space. Familiarity begins to permeate through the relationship in the form of repetition. They are both striving to build something together, but Chauncey doubts Avery. Avery, the optimist, encounters resistance from his stubborn companion. While they may have shared a common goal (they are traveling on the same path), their perspectives change. The montage intensifies until Chauncey stops, his feet firmly rooted on the Earth. Avery invites Chauncey to continue with him, but he does not move. Both are enriched by the experience of being together, but Avery chooses to move on; we follow him as he creates a different path.


The film cuts-in between a field, a natural open space, and an intimate place that is darker and dreamlike. These conflicting spaces are metaphors of our public and private thoughts. The Promise is a commentary on the challenges of moving forward while aging; enthusiasm invites opportunity and familiarity creates comfort.


Jason Karman is a writer-director based in Vancouver, Canada. The immigrant experience and coming out are influences that have shaped how Jason perceives the world. Jason is an honours graduate in Cinematography at Capilano University, and past adjudicator on the Media Arts Jury at the British Columbia Arts Council. His documentary short, State of Yo, was the National Portrait Winner at Montreal’s Cine-Asie National Portrait contest in 2009. His drama, I’m in the Mood for Love won the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award at the 2011 Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Previous notable films also include Square Dance Story (2011) and Kimchi Fried Dumplings (2013).


Nicolo Fonte is an award winning New York based choreographer. He has created seven highly successful works for Aspen Sante Fe Ballet and is a popular guest choreographer with Ballet BC. Born into an immigrant family, Nicolo is in touch with his Italian roots. His works has been open to LGBT interpretation due to his relationship with Kevin Irving, artistic director of the Oregon Ballet Theatre. Nicolo has been described by the Seattle Post’s R.M. Campbell as “an architect who creates the new rather than re-invent the old. He is a master of manipulating space and creating relationships.” In embarking on this project, involving Nicolo’s choreographic vocabulary became imperative because Nicolo and Jason’s shared interests rooted in their respective backgrounds.


Stirling is a cinematographer, equally at home working underwater, hanging from buildings, cliffs or helicopters, riding backwards on snowmobiles, and creating natural lighting in studio. His recent photography includes commercial spots for Lifetime, bazinga! and Swiss Water as well as music videos for Mackenzie Porter,Tebey and Japanese Girls. He was nominated for a Leo in cinematography for Hunt for the Mad Trapper, and Ship recently screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Croft, an action packed short won Best Action Film at the Atlanta Action Film Festival and Best in the Fest award at the Dam Short Film Fest. He photographed Larry Kent’s She Who Must Burn, set to premier at the Fantasia International Film Festival.


Sean Arden is an artist/filmmaker holding a Master of Applied Arts in Media from Emily Carr University. He has over 12 years experience implementing experimental technologies for the arts. Sean runs a research lab at Intersections Digital Studios located within Emily Carr University of Art and Design. As a studio technician Sean has provided support for several notable contemporary artists including Stan Douglas, Rimini Protokol and Atelier VanLieshout. Sean is an instructor for Vancouver Film School and faculty at Emily Carr University Continuing Studies. He is also co-founder of Atomized Creative.


Robin has been producing content for film and television for over a decade. In this time, he has produced short films, music videos, promotional videos and feature films “Lucky Stars” (2002) and “The Hollow Ones” (2015). His short films (“Mon amour mon parapluie” (2001), “Lily’s Crickets” (2002), etc.) have shown at numerous film festivals across North America. His short film “Joanna Makes a Friend” (2011) won Audience Choice Awards at the Victoria Film Festival and at the TIFF.kid Toronto International Film Festival. Additional work includes promotional videos for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the Community Care Foundation and the Vancouver chapter of the Red Cross. His work has been broadcast in Canada on Bravo, CBC, Citytv, TV5, The Movie Network and MuchMoreMusic and he has been nominated twice for BC’s industry awards, the Leos. Robin is the principle of Like Minded Media ( based in Vancouver.


Denise has experimented with S3D still photography for many years, and in 2010 was involved with Canadian Tourism Commission’s innovative stereo 3D productions, which became the world’s first tourism content in 3D. She has worked with some of North America’s Stereoscopic 3D leaders in beta testing and developing solutions for S3D post-production tools. Her expertise is best directed at designing and improving post-production workflows. She has pioneered post production pipelines for complex projects and has awareness of how technology is suited within S3D, whether it be HFR (high frame rate), UltraHD, or 2D-3D conversion. Through the S3D Centre she continues to create and research new pipelines for 3D professionals, as well as research topics specific to S3D capture & display. Denise is the pipeline manager and editor for “Soul Mate 3D”, the world’s first variable HFR stereo 3D short film and she enjoys filming her dives with underwater 3D cameras when the occasion arises.

Fiscally Sponsored


Production Grant Recipient

Recipient of the honorary award in 2014

ONF_Logo_hor_300dp invertediNational Film Board of Canada

The Promise has been selected by National Film Board of Canada for the 2015 Filmmakers Assistance Program. The project will receive up to $5000 of in-kind support in production and post-production services. We still need your help in finishing the project.