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film still “I have no heart and I must love,” Mark, the lone survivor on a space station lost in the galaxy, hopes for rescue in “I have no heart and I must love,” winner for Best Picture in WIFF’s 48-Hour Flick Fest.

Staffer’s sci-fi flick wins short film competition

Trying to make something look like a spaceship in 48 hours is a bit of a hurdle, says Kory Bessette, but that challenge was not enough to prevent him and his teammates from taking top honours in the 48-Hour Flick Fest, part of the Windsor International Film Festival.

A clinical therapist in the Student Counselling Centre, Bessette has participated in the competition for 11 straight years, and his crew — Smog Town Films — has now won the Best Picture award three times. This year, their entry “I have no heart and I must love” also won best cinematography.

Competitors must complete a short film project, from writing through shooting and editing, in just one 48-hour window, incorporating a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue provided to them just as that period begins.

“The only genre we hadn’t done yet is sci-fi, so I wanted to give that try,” says Bessette.

His screenplay opens on the lone survivor on a space station lost in the galaxy hoping for rescue. And that posed some technical challenges for a production low on budget as well as time.

“My friend Kenny (director Ken Amlin) read the first line of the script, We see a man floating in zero gravity, and said ‘What are you trying to do to me?’” Bessette laughs.

“In the end, we’re really proud of what came together. You do what you can to trick the camera.”

The Smog Town team plans to continue making films, and will use its $2,000 prize from the year’s contest to fund its next project.

Watch “I have no heart and I must love.”