A film festival taking place in Rexburg is only the beginning for Gatekeeper Motion Pictures and its director, Porter Justus.

Porter Justus, a senior studying theater studies, created Gatekeeper Motion Pictures two years ago with a few other collaborators. Together, they have produced and released 14 short films are putting on their first film festival tonight from 7:00-10:00 p.m. at the Romance Theater.

“The festival is for anyone, from experienced directors to ‘creatives’ just getting into film,” Justus said.

Justus said four directors have submitted short films for the festival, and the four films are unique from one another.

“I submitted my film, ‘11:47’,” said Andy Matthews, a film director from Utah and a former student at BYU-Idaho.

“The festival is for anyone, from experienced directors to ‘creatives’ just getting into film.”

Porter Justus

a senior studying theater studies and creator of Gatekeeper Motion Pictures

Matthews said “11:47” is the story of a grieving father who confronts his daughter’s killer on the anniversary of her death.

“I love thriller movies where you have characters confined in a small space and there is some sort of deadline, so we set it in a deserted parking garage inside a locked car with a ticking clock.”

Andy Matthews

a film director from Utah and a former student at BYU-Idaho

“I love thriller movies where you have characters confined in a small space and there is some sort of deadline,” Matthews said. “So we set it in a deserted parking garage inside a locked car with a ticking clock.”

Matthews worked on his film with several other BYU-I alumni.

“I thought it would be fun to enter the festival since Rexburg is where I kind of started on my filmmaking journey,” Matthews said.

Justus said that film festivals are a great way to start to get noticed in the filmmaking world.

“I hope that directors that submitted films can learn from this experience and get some great feedback from each other,” Justus said.

Audience members are invited to the festival as well, and Justus said he hopes they can enjoy the festival.

Gatekeeper Motion Pictures was able to obtain a few sponsors and even find a special grand prize for the festival winner.

Justus has been interested in filmmaking since 2009 but has been involved in creative efforts his whole life.

“If you sit in your room and never show what you’ve done, what good is that?” Justus said.

He said creating and sharing art is the most important aspect of being a creative.

“Creativity is like a lightning bold because when ideas come, they’re bright and exciting,” Justus said.

He said learning how to develop ideas beyond their initial bursts is alsoimportant.

“The more weathered and experienced you are, the more you can do,” Justus said. “The more interests you have, the more you can draw from.”

“Creativity is like a lightning bold because when ideas come, they’re bright and exciting.”

Porter Justus

a senior studying theater studies and creator of Gatekeeper Motion Pictures

Gatekeeper Motion Pictures has been involved in several projects around town. The company has collaborated with some local businesses such as theRomance Theater.

Justus said one of the most difficult things for student filmmakers is the high cost of equipment.

According to an article on Premium Beat, the average camera used in Hollywood filmmaking starts at $120,000.

“A lot of our early stuff, we just shot out on a tripod with our DSLR cameras,” Justus said.

Justus said he hopes Gatekeeper Motion Pictures can continue to grow as a company.

“We’ve made commercials, music videos and short films,” Justus said.

He said Gatekeeper Motion Pictures’ newest short film will hopefully develop into a feature-length film.

“We don’t want to do anything crappy,” Justus said. “Story comes first.”