|Directed by||Jamin Winans|
|Produced by||Jamin Winans
Kiowa K. Winans
|Written by||Jamin Winans|
|Music by||Jamin Winans|
|Editing by||Jamin Winans|
|Studio||Double Edge Films|
|Distributed by||Double Edge Films|
|Release date(s)||United States
January 23, 2009
|Running time||106 minutes|
Ink is a 2009 American fantasy film, written and directed by Jamin Winans, starring Chris Kelly, Quinn Hunchar and Jessica Duffy. It was produced by Winans's own independent production company, Double Edge Films, with Kiowa K. Winans, and shot by cinematographer Jeff Pointer in locations around Denver. The film premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 23, 2009, and has screened in Denver, the Cancun Film Festival (where it won the Best International Feature award), Rams Head Onstage in Annapolis and in a number of independent movie houses in cities around the US.
The film begins with a business man in a hurry to get into his car, he appears to be stressed and somewhat distraught. He gets in and starts down the city streets, screaming suddenly at the top of his lungs before a truck running a red light crashes into him. As he falls unconscious, he dreams of playing with his little girl Emma. At first he is stern and hesitant to play with her, but he gives in when she pretends to be taken away by monsters and runs to save her from them. The dream then fades to black.
It is revealed that people exist on a plane different from our own. There are warriors called Storytellers, who provide people with their most wonderful dreams with a touch to their foreheads, and there are the Incubi, spirits fashioned from vanity who veil their faces with screens to reflect an artificial eternal happiness, whose shadows provide people adversely with nightmares. But this night a new being, a drifter called Ink appears. And despite the best effort from several Storytellers, he successfully kidnaps Emma from her home, leaving her physical body in a comatose state. However, the drifter's drum was damaged in the fight, and without the code was not able to open the portal to a realm he was intending on leading the girl.
Meanwhile, John, a businessman whose life has attained a sense of repetition and perfection, faces turmoil when an account he had been working to acquire is about to be swept out from under his feet, but he is determined to turn the problem around. Ron, his estranged father in law, comes to tell John that Emma is in a coma in the hospital. Despite the visible strain to his conscience he maintains a stern attitude and it is revealed that after his wife's death, her parents took custody of Emma because of John's drug and alcohol abuse due to his grief. He throws Ron out of his office but something dark appears to loom over him as he does.
Meanwhile, the three Storytellers who are responsible for Emma, Allel and two of her companions, Gabe and Sarah along with a blind Pathfinder named Jacob, decide to find a way to physically bring Emma out of her coma. A fourth ally, a Storyteller named Liev, attempts to dissuade Ink from delivering the girl to the Incubi in order to become one himself. The code he is required to obtain in order to access their headquarters is held by two other Drifters that he must find and barter with to acquire their parts of the code. After a fight between the two of them, Liev surrenders to Ink to save Emma's life. While enroute, Liev tries to bolster Emma's bravery by telling her that she is turning into a ferocious lioness. After Ink successfully barter with the two Drifters, Liev slowly works into his emotions. She discovers that he does in fact have a conscience and a soul, but due to his violent death by suicide, he arrived in this world hideous and scarred, and desperate to let go of his pain, which, he believes, becoming an Incubus would help him do. However, he resists each attempt to break through. They make their way to the Incubi's stronghold, offering Emma and Liev as his payment to become one of them. Liev tells Emma she has completely transformed into a lioness, and that she has to be ferocious and brave. As Liev stands up to the leader of the Incubi, she is stabbed and mortally wounded.
Jacob unveils his abilities to the others, tapping into what he calls the "beat of the world" in order to affect physical changes. Through a chain of events, he causes several small accidents to culminate in a truck running a red light and as in the beginning of the film, crashing into John's car. As a result, they are able to scare off the Incubus who had been whispering dark thoughts into John's subconscious and he is taken to the same hospital where Emma is being held. After he awakens and realizes that she is close by, he overcomes his urge to go to the important sales meeting, remembering the happiness of his life before his wife was killed in a car accident – memories that the dark forces on his shoulder kept him from – and with Allel protecting him, he heads to Emma's room. Incubi appear and the warriors fight them off to keep them from reaching him again. Meanwhile, Jacob volunteers to go out and activate a device, calling the other Storytellers for reinforcement. John finally makes his way to Emma's room to sit beside her.
As the course of the past, present and future are affected by John's return to Emma, Ink suddenly has a realization; memories come flooding back to him of his successful meeting for the account he had been trying to get for his company, if he had been able to make it. Emma dies in the hospital, John drifts out of touch, into a world of loneliness. His depression increases until he commits suicide by shooting himself in the head. He falls into the astral world a broken shell of his former self. Ink hears Liev whisper his name "John" and she dies. As his memories return, Ink rushes at the Incubi attacking them and rescues his daughter, much like the dream at the beginning of the movie. He stands and faces them, killing each one as they approach her, while at the hospital the Storytellers overcome the Incubi. After the fight is done, Emma recognizes Ink as her dad and they embrace.
In the hospital, Emma awakens to find her father holding her hand. The pair share a hug while the Storytellers who had defeated the Incubi stand in the doorway, unseen but victorious.
Both Jamin Winans and Kiowa Winans contributed multiple roles in making Ink, in addition to both being credited as executive producers. Jamin wrote, directed and edited, as well as composed the original soundtrack for the film, while Kiowa is credited for the Art Direction, Costume Design and Sound Design.
As no big studio picked up the film for theatrical and home distribution, Double Edge Films pitched the movie directly to independent cinemas and also saw to the DVD, Blu-ray and online distribution themselves. DVD and Blu-ray copies of the movie are sold directly via the company's website starting from October 30, 2009 and are sold at retail stores starting November 10, 2009, as well as downloads at Video on demand stores. According to TorrentFreak, a file sharing news site, Ink was downloaded via BitTorrent 400,000 times in a single week and exposed the film to a large audience, leading to higher DVD and Blu-ray sales in return. Jamin and Kiowa Winans wrote in their newsletter that they had "embraced the piracy" and are "happy Ink is getting unprecedented exposure." Around Christmas 2009 the film was also released on Hulu for free viewing.