West Winds follows our anonymous Jane Doe as they arrive at a beach where the steady flow of the west winds keeps the air clean of a kind of ice-nine like toxic air. Before she can decide whether to stay or not, the tide comes in and takes off her gas mask, forcing her to stay in this bay indefinitely.
As the days wore on, supplies dwindled and isolation became emotionally drained when it realized that its chances of survival were limited. In her darkest moment, something enters her life; a stray dog. Their connection quickly brings joy and purpose to their life as this dog becomes a glimmer of hope for someone who didn’t have one. Remind them what it means to be alive.
West Winds is a story about seeking refuge from toxicity while struggling with depression, loneliness and trying to find hope when none is in sight. Sometimes recklessness and connection come in unexpected forms, reminding us of what it means to be alive.
Writer and director Matthew Thomas Ross is best known for directing music videos in the local Portland music scene. Matthew’s first short film, Two Ships, premiered at the 2016 Portland Film Festival and beyond. Matthew’s second short film, Anomaly, also premiered there in 2018. Matthew’s love and fascination for filmmaking began when he saw Jurassic Park in theaters at the age of 8. Throughout middle and high school, Matthew made videos with his parents’ camera. After high school, Matthew briefly attended film school in California but dropped out in the freshman year and didn’t feel right for him and moved back to Oregon. He is currently writing his first feature film with the hope of starting production in 2022
Matthew tells us where he got the inspiration to write West Winds.
West Winds seeds began during a dark Oregon winter in 2016; The mists of depression surrounded me and the vast ocean of loneliness made me feel like the only person on earth. In those darkest moments, my dog Niles would be right by my side, creating an oasis of unconditional love that I so badly needed. This film takes you through a range of emotions that can arise in your life. Most of all, I hope it reminds you that even if only for a fleeting moment, we can think back to our darkest moments in life and find the bright spots that made us happy.
This short film was written in 2016, shot in 2018, but has found even more relevance in this world today. The last year has been dark and many of us have felt that there is no hope. You are not alone in this darkness; Our eyes will adjust, some faster than others, and we will find that light sooner or later. This is my love letter to my dog Niles and all of our friends who are saving us.
More information on Matthew Thomas Ross can be found here.
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