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Up-and-Coming Director Cole Fisher Wins Best Colorado Experimental Short at Horsetooth Fest with “CLIPPED WINGS”

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 | Short Films


In CLIPPED WINGS, a soldier regroups with her men while giving in to her worst instincts, after a failed revolution. Writer/director Cole Fisher’s debut film, CLIPPED WINGS adapts Satan’s fall in John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Synopsis: The twelve-minute horror short follows Lucy, who awakes in a musty basement that will serve as her prison. She is comforted by her close friend Belle before being brought to their remaining men to figure out where to go from there. A constant enemy is alluded to as Lucy’s first soldier offers blood as a solution. He wishes to strike back as hard as he can. The second soldier rebukes him, saying that it is in all of their best interests to flee and make something of themselves. 

At this moment, Lucy loses herself in her subconscious. She is walking down a dark alley where she is confronted with a mirror image of herself. This Lucy is tied up and blindfolded. Lucy frees her as her shadow self erupts into laughter. Back in reality, Lucy brutally murders this soldier. Belle offers the first soldier some insight into the nature of the prison and a way to escape. Lucy mirrors every action Belle makes. Lucy decides to escape, saving only herself and burning the house down with everyone in it.

The film stars Jasmine Day, Maddie Steele, and Cody Alban, with cinematography by Jakob Rosen.

“CLIPPED WINGS follows a woman who feels she will be abandoned by everyone that she cares for,” writes Fisher. “She takes this anxiety and uses it as an excuse to enact the same pain on those who love her. The emotional crux as I was writing it was the dynamic between Lucy and Belle. Belle loves Lucy and would gladly lie down so Lucy could climb a little higher. Lucy demands this. The bones of this film come from John Milton’s Paradise Lost with Lucy as a direct analog to Satan.” After its premiere at Horsetooth International Film Festival (HIFF), Fisher took home the award for Best Colorado Experimental Short. 

Writer/director Cole Fisher at Horsetooth Fest.

CLIPPED WINGS premiered on September 11th, 2022 at The Lyric Cinema (Fort Collins, CO) as a part of HIFF. Says festival co-founder Jesse Nyander of the festival, “we’re on a mission to make Northern Colorado a region where Creatives thrive. We’ve recently announced 501(c)(3) non-profit status, allowing us to truly pursue a festival design that unites Creatives around Film, Music, Tech, and Culture for four days of screenings, performances, experiences, and workshops.”

Co-founder John Hunt expands, saying, “HIFF exists to provide opportunity, sustainability, and unity for our Creative community. We are an innovative “Ideas Machine” that is aggressively designing new ways to connect people through creative experiences. We could not be more excited for what our region has in store this year…and in the future.”

Release information for CLIPPED WINGS upcoming; the film will continue to play the 2022-23 festival circuit. 


Grace Detwiler
Grace Detwiler (@finalgirlgrace) is a freelance film journalist and law student. Her original work can be found on her blog, FinalGirlGrace, as well as in Rue Morgue's print and online publications.