Sisyphus Productions Presents

The Things We Tell The Ones We Love

A fun virus movie!


Official Selection Montreal Independent Film Festival 2020
Offical Selection Nosferatu Film Festival
Official Selection New Filmmakers NY 2021
Finalist Best Director Indie Short Fest 2020
Finalist Best Editing Indie Short Fest 2020
Finalist Best Ensemble Cast Indie Short Fest 2020
Finalist Best Screenplay Indie Short Fest 2020
Finalist Best Sound Design Indie Short Fest 2020


THE THINGS WE TELL THE ONES WE LOVE is an interactive sci-fi thriller about a designer virus that attacks the pre-frontal cortex of select humans, causing damage to executive functions. Those infected enter into a Frenetic Random Activity Period, in which they temporarily lose inhibitions, act on impulse and do dangerous things. The film is set a few years in the future, in Central Freedom Zone 2, an area of the midwestern United States with no taxes, no public services and no regulations.

An aspiring Mixed Martial Artist Billy has become estranged from his wife Sabrina after she contracted the virus, and lives with his mother Mary and 18-month-old daughter. As he is planning to take one last shot at his MMA career, Sabrina suffers an outbreak and attacks the house, obsessed with stealing back her daughter. With the help of his mother and sister Ashley, Billy defends their house from multiple FRAP invasions by Sabrina and her Syncro, Bunny Clown Dude. Unwilling to pay for private police service or the outrageously priced anti-dote, Billy’s mother Mary is ready to solve the problem the old-fashioned way.

As the story progresses, the audience will make the same tough choices the characters make about patience vs. violence, life vs. death, and how to cope with limited power in a disintegrating society.

Choose your story

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Suggested Donation:

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$100,000 if your net worth is over a Billion

Free if you’re unemployed

How to donate

@tukwilkins on Venmo



Chris Ostrowski as Billy
Chris Ostrowski as Billy
Kitty Mortland as Sabrina
Kitty Mortland as Sabrina
Marek Brave as Bunny Clown Dude
Marek Brave as Bunny Clown Dude
Frances Hearn as Mary
Frances Hearn as Mary
Peyton Michelle Edwards as Ashley
Peyton Michelle Edwards as Ashley
Amelia Tague as Baby Shelly
Amelia Tague as Baby Shelly


Matt Wilkins with face mask!

We shot this satirical interactive Sci-fi film in March of 2019 in Davenport, Iowa, and the whole damn thing came true before we could even finish it! Well maybe not entirely, as our virus is a little more fun than COVID-19, but I’d say we nailed the nature of the government response!

This is a B-movie as social commentary, inspired by tv shows, films and books like “The Twilight Zone,” Godard’s “Alphaville,” which I always admired because it was a futuristic movie shot in a present-day world. “Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde” for the temporary loss of self-control. “Flowers for Algernon” for transformed mental states. “Brave New World” and “1984” for their satirical visions of society. Juan Felipe Herrera’s “Exiles of Desire” where the children rotate in soundless collisions. “Rocky” for us losers that can take a beating. “Shaun of the Dead” for the obliviousness to the horror around us. I also love “Black Mirror,” “Bandersnatch,” “Get Out,” “Us,” “The Host,” “Let the Right One In” to name just a few.

I want to thank the great cast and crew, who came from Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa. I made my first film in Davenport 30 years ago, and I finally got a chance to make another there, and the support from my family, friends and the Davenport community was phenomenal. I can’t thank everyone enough! That was a blast!


THE THINGS WE TELL THE ONES WE LOVE was written by Eliza Fox and Matt Wilkins.

Produced, Shot and Directed by Matt Wilkins.

Starring Chris Ostrowski, Kitty Mortland, Frances Hearn, Peyton Michelle Edwards, Marek Brave and Amelia Tague.

Director of Photography including drone operation and steady-cam by Aaron Castillo.

Location Sound Recording by Khari Whitmore.

Edited by Carmelo Casalenuovo and Matt Wilkins.

Editing Consultants Brad Vanderburg and Tim Coulter.

Color-correction by Aaron Castillo.

Visual Effects by Aaron Castillo, Khari Whitmore and Carmelo Casalenuovo.

Executive Producers Alan Pruzan, Stan Mastalerz, Eliza Fox and Matt Wilkins.

Set Design/Grip by Constantine Stamos.

Producers: Chris Ostrowski, Kitty Mortland, Peyton Michelle Edwards, Frances Hearn, Didi Wilkins, Kati Wilkins, Theresa Wilkins, Dan Fisher, Tyler Wilkins, Constantine Stamos, Aaron Castillo.

Costumes by Kitty Mortland and Chris Ostrowski.

Make-up by Kitty Mortland, Allison Valenzuela, Chris Ostrowski.

Titles by Bruce Fleming.

Props by Didi Wilkins, Baby Casting by Kati Wilkins, and Art Direction by Theresa Wilkins.

Stunt Coordinator and fighters provided by The Black and the Brave Wrestling Club in Davenport, Iowa.

Bunny Clown dude played by professional wrestler Marek Brave.

Blood Squirt Gag by Dan Boone, Constantine Stamos, Aaron Castillo.

Production Assistants: Tyler Wilkins, Will Wilkins, Patrick Davis, Arianna Wilkins-Wall, Micheal McFarland.

Extras: Tim Alexander, Doug Grubb, Jeff Benson, Alexander Westmoreland, Tyler Wilkins, Matthew Lyons, Allen Schwartz, Larry Lemons, Gyasi Lyons, Travis Titan, Dante Leon.

Voice Extras: David Miller, Keith Fox, David Teitelbaum, Dorothy Breininger, Kitty Mortland, Tim Alexander, Jennifer Alexander.

Sound Design, Score and Mix by John Bosch.

Music by Dan Jones, m00nm00n, Eliza Fox, 310, John Bosch, Mirror Queen and Kitty Mortland.

Website by Eric Peacock.

Shot from the film

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