The Mountaineers of Katoomba

The Mountaineers of Katoomba is a short film about a dying writer who must use his imagination to sustain himself long enough to finish his most important story.

This short film was produced and shot in Plymouth, MI in 2017.

This project is a condensed version of an existing feature length screenplay.  Originally produced as part of the application materials for the 2018 Sundance Feature Film Program Screenwriters Lab, The Mountaineers of Katoomba is also being submitted into the festival circuit.  It is the goal of Quill and Arrow Media to push this story forward with the intentions of producing the feature length version of the project in 2018.

Follow Quill and Arrow Media's blog to stay up to date with the current status of the film, including festival submissions and screenings!


synopsis (feature)

When Arthur Bucket arrived in Katoomba, Australia, he had high hopes of finishing the book that his accomplished but estranged brother had begun before his sudden and accidental death.  But when a violent storm rushes into the Blue Mountains, Arthur is struck by lightning and stranded in the lounge of a hostel without a working phone during a power outage.  Here, he meets a young woman who claims to have met him once before.  Cut off from the rest of the world, Sarah Lietzel can think of only one way to help Arthur - to keep him engaged.  She reads aloud from the hostel guestbook, recounting the stories of previous guests who stayed at the hostel before them.  

As she reads, Arthur slips fully into her words and the narrative melts away to an account of a middle-aged English woman named Moira Wolden, who visited Australia after the passing of her husband.  Moira meets a young man who peculiarly sets an elaborate dinner table for four every night, yet continues to eat by himself.  When Moira discovers that the young man is waiting for a group of climbers called ‘The Mountaineers of Katoomba,’ Arthur becomes excited.

Upon realizing that this same group of climbers are the subject of his brother’s writing, Arthur becomes wildly eager to hear more.  Reinvigorated, Arthur begins to find a narrative with which to move forward towards.  The more Sarah reads, the more they learn about this mysterious group of climbers and the more motivated Arthur becomes.  But as the night continues and the storm grows more violent, Arthur’s health deteriorates until his body begins to fail in conclusive ways.  When Sarah refuses to aid him any longer, Arthur takes matters into his own hands, allowing himself to go too far over the edge.  The strength of his imagination and his will allow him to gain a deeper understanding of not only the identity of the mountaineers, but also unexpected closure with his brother.  But the cost of pushing himself so far leaves Arthur with no guarantee that he will survive until morning.

The short film is a condensed version of this project, intended to capture the tone of this story.


Josh Samson

Aja Wrosch

Josh Samson as 'Arthur Bucket.'

Josh Samson as 'Arthur Bucket.'

Aja Wrosch as 'Sarah Lietzel.'

Aja Wrosch as 'Sarah Lietzel.'


Bradley Michael - Writer/Director

Bradley Michael - Writer/Director

bradley michael


Bradley Michael took a keen interest in narrative writing at an early age.  He graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2012 after producing his senior thesis, Wise Words.  Most recently, Bradley completed a feature length documentary entitled, The Artist Collective Project: Mitten.  The documentary is currently being entered into the festival circuit.

Bradley has worked as an actor in local independent Michigan productions such as The Girl, The Gun and Everything, as well as the world premiere of 2AZ at the Purple Rose Theatre Company.  In 2014, he had his full length play So Long Until Tomorrow produced at the AKT Theatre Project in Wyandotte, MI.  

In the course of two years, he visited Australia, Japan, Costa Rica, practiced technical canyoneering in Utah, and trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.  

He resides in Farmington Hills, MI.