The 2013 urban fantasy short film Sapphire Strange remains a relatively undiscovered gem - and that's a damn shame.
Its premise seems deceptively simple on its face - Sapphire Strange is an attractive - though meek and mousy - young woman, who is also a struggling magician.
The film begins as she is preparing to perform a magic show in a very unglamorous hotel conference room.
As she is setting up, she is confronted by a sinister woman named Belecka. As the confrontation quickly escalates, it is revealed both women are powerful mystics.
Belecka has come to challenge Sapphire for the title of supreme mystic master, but the evil sorceress will soon learn she has made a grave mistake in underestimating our heroine.
Everything about this eight-minute short film kicks ass.
In eight minutes, filmmaker Justin Calen-Chenn creates an intriguing universe and mythology, populated with compelling characters, all of which you desperately want to learn more about when the ending credits roll.
Many directors who helm multi-million dollar movies can't accomplish this.
The two lead actors also must be given proper credit for turning in stellar performances.
Ellie Rose Boswell is wonderful as Sapphire Strange.
Her performance is simply a joy - and the highlight of this film. She imbues Sapphire with a quiet, unassuming, yet commanding presence.
Her nuanced portrayal will make you long to see more of Sapphire.
The antagonist of the piece, Belecka, is played with cold menace by the outstanding Ruth Connell, who currently can be seen in a recurring role on the long-running tv series Supernatural.
Watch Sapphire Strange here ...
Sapphire Strange writer and director Justin Calen-Chenn is an independent filmmaker whose work we've admired here at The 7th Matrix for quite some time.
He has a unique sense of style which gives all his films phenomenal visual flair and dynamism.
He is most definitely a young filmmaker to watch as he continues to make a name for himself in the independent film world.
Sapphire Strange is number 84 in our HUGE compilation of 200 outstanding science fiction, fantasy and genre shorts: 200 Best Online Sci-Fi Short Films. Download your copy, and enjoy your travels to worlds fantastic!