Five Course Meal

About the project

An award winning adaptation of Josh Saltzman’s gruesome short story of the same name, taken from his horror anthology “Strange Yarns”.

Cinematography, Motion Graphics, Voice-Overs
Cadden & Bell Productions
The Appitizer


Five Course Meal began as a short story originally written by Josh Salztman and was part of a horror anthology titled Stranger Yarns. It was published by Wattpad who partnered with The Coup Company to solicit independent Canadian filmmakers to adapt the Strange Yarns collection into shorts. 

In collaboration with Edmonton-local special effects house, Bold Raven FX, our team, formally known as Cadden and Bell Productions, produced the horror short film, Five Course Meal.

From the screenplay, to casting and VFX, a custom built set to the final stages of editing, our team worked tirelessly to create what became an award-winning film shown at over 100 festivals throughout the world.
The entree


Mark and Jenny, a financially struggling couple, take part in a mysterious paid experiment that sees them locked in a room together for one month. They’re provided meals through a dispenser, meals which they ravenously devour because they’re overcome with an insatiable hunger. Eventually the food stops coming, and with only each other in the room, what will they do? They’re still hungry...

Five Course Meal explores whether the instinct of love or hunger is stronger—and with that concept Five Course Meal entertains, disgusts and delights the audience with something outrageously fun to watch.

This short is meant for body horror fans who have a passion for in-camera practical effects. Special attention was made in making the audience feel like they were trapped in the same room as our characters. This cinematically immerses them in every slimy texture and slurping sound of our dark story, though grotesque close-ups and uncomfortable sound design.

Five course meal is a real crowd-pleasing ending with inevitable result of what happens when you just can’t stop EATING.


Over 125 screenings worldwide

Five Course Meal held its *WORLD PREMIERE* at the Edmonton Short Film Festival on October 13, 2018. The film won Best Horror. Since then, Five Course Meal has screened over 125 times at genre film festivals around the world.

Screening highlights include the renowned UK genre film festival, FrightFest, in London, several members of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, such as MOTELX in Portugal—and emerging horror film festival Popcorn Frights in Florida. Other regions of the UK also enjoyed Five Course Meal, with screenings held at the well-known Leeds International Film Festival and Sheffield’s Celluloid Screams.

  • Killer Valley Film Festival
    Ashland, Oregon
  • Atlanta Horror Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Idaho Horror Film Festival
    Boise, Idaho
  • Dark History & Horror Con’s Screaming Mad Film Festival
    Champaign, Illinois
  • Windy City Horrorama Film Festival
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Horror Movie Freaks Film Festival
    Clemmons, North Carolina
  • Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Nightmares Film Festival
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Dead in Decatur
    Decatur, Illinois
  • Horror Avenue Film Festival
    DeKalb, Illinois
  • Popcorn Frights Film Festival
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Thriller! Chiller!
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival
    Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Happenstance Horror Fest
    Haverhill, Massachusetts
  • First Contact Film Festival
    Jefferson, New Jersey
  • Terror on the Plains Horror Film Festival
    Kansas City, Kansas
  • Knoxville Horror Film Festival
    Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Lancaster International Short Film Festival
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Reels of the Dead Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Sin City Horror Fest
    Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Something Wicked Film festival
    Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • The Scarefest Horror & Paranormal Film Festival & Convention
    Lexington, Kentucky
  • Midwest Horror Fest
    Logansport, Indiana
  • The Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival
    Melbourne, Florida
  • Midwest Monster Film Fest
    Molines, Illinois
  • Montgomery Film Festival
    Montgomery, Alabama
  • Muscatine Independent Film Festival
    Muscatine, Iowa
    • New York City Horror Film Festival
      New York, New York
    • South Carolina Underground Film Festival
      North Charleston, South Carolina
    • Slaughter Movie House
      North Kansas City, Missouri
    • Fantasm’s Shock Reel Cinema Film Festival
      Orlando, Florida
    • Halloweenapalooza Film Festival
      Ottumwa, Iowa
    • Apocalypse Later International Film Festival
      Phoenix, Arizona
    • Desmond District Demons Film Festival
      Port Huron, Michigan
    • Portland Horror Film Festival
      Portland, Oregon
    • FilmQuest
      Provo, Utah
    • Scumdance Film Festival
      Reno, Nevada
    • The Magic of Horror
      Richmond, Virginia
    • Anomaly - The Rochester Genre Film Festival
      Rochester, New York
    • Scare-A-Con Film Festival
      Rochester, New York
    • The Halloween Horror Picture Show
      Safety Harbor, Florida
    • Salem Horror Fest
      Salem, Massachusetts
    • FANtastic Horror Film Festival
      San Diego, California
    • Something Wicked Film festival
      Lawrenceville, Georgia
    • Horror Haus Film Festival
      Santa Clarita, California
    • NEPA Horror Film Festival
      Scranton, Pennsylvania
    • Crypticon Seattle Horror Film Festival
      Seattle, Washington
    • Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival
      Silver Spring, Maryland
    • Spooky Empire’s International Horror Film Festival
      Tampa, Florida
    • The Grindhouse Video Film Festival at Tampa Bay Screams
      Tampa, Florida
    • Phoenix FearCon
      Tempe, Arizona
    • Picture Show Panic
      Titusville, Florida
    • PDXtreme - Portland Underground Film Festival
      Vancouver, Washington
    • Things 2 Fear Film Fest
      Winchester, Virginia
    • Calgary Horror Con
      Calgary, Alberta
    • HEX After Dark Film Festival
      Calgary, Alberta
    • Smith Sound Film Festival
      Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Bump ‘N’ Grindhouse
      Edmonton, Alberta
    • FAVA Fest
      Edmonton, Alberta
    • Festival of Fear International Film Festival
      Edmonton, Alberta
    • Nextfest Film Festival
      Edmonton, Alberta
    • Night of Fear Festival
      Edmonton, Alberta
    • The Edmonton DEADbyCON Horror Festival
      Edmonton, Alberta
    • Reel Shorts Film Festival
      Grande Prairie, Alberta
      • Hexploitation Film Festival
        Hamilton, Ontario
      • Cabane A Sang
        Montreal, Quebec
      • Requiem FearFest
        Montreal, Quebec
      • Okotoks Film Festival
        Okotoks, Alberta
      • Ottawa Spookshow and Fantastic Film Festival
        Ottawa, Ontario
      • Northern Frights Festival
        Sudbury, Ontario
      • Terror in the Bay Film Festival
        Thunder Bay, Ontario
      • Foggy Isle Film Festival
        Victoria, British Columbia

      The Americas

      • Morce-GO Vermelho - GOIAS HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
        Goiânia , Brazil
      • Hell de Janeiro
        Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
      • Bahai Independent Cinema Festival
        Salvador, Brazil
      • Festival Boca do Inferno VI
        São Paulo, Brazil
      • Phenomena Festival
        São Paulo, Brazil
        • Terror en el MAAC
          Guayaquil, Ecuador
        • Panama Horror Film Festival
          Panama City, Panama
        • Trujillo International Independent Film Festival
          Trujillo, Peru
        • LUSCA Fantastic Film Fest
          Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

        United Kingdom

        • Yellow Fever Indie Film Festival
          Bangor, Northern Ireland
        • Fractured Visions
          Cardiff, England
        • Glasgow Horror Fest: BITE SIZE
          Glasgow, Scotland
        • Loft and Loaded 6: Short Film Festival
          Hereford, England
        • Leeds International Film Festival
          Leeds, England
        • The Dead of Night Film Festival
          Liverpool, England
          • FrightFest
            London, England
          • Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival
            London, England
          • De Profundis Biannual Horror Short Film Festival
            Salford, England
          • Celluloid Screams Horror Film Festival
            Sheffield, England
          • De Profundis Biannual Horror Short Film Festival
            Salford, England


          • Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival
            Bruges, Flanders, Belgium
          • Court Mais Trash
            Brussels, Belgium
          • Night of the Horror Festival
            Tiennen, Belgium
          • Trash Film Festival
            Varaždin, Croatia
          • Sadique Master Festival
            Paris, France
          • Landshut Short Film Festival
            Landshut, Germany
          • Anatomy: Crime-Horror International Film Festival
            Athens, Greece
          • Disappear Here Film Festival
            Ballyliffin, Ireland
          • Carlow International Film Festival
            Carlow, Ireland
          • Apulia Horror International Film Festival
            Gallipoli, Lecce, Italy
          • Splat! FilmFest - International Fantastic Film Festival
            Lublin, Poland
          • Madeira Fantastic FilmFest
            Funchal, Portugal
            • MOTELx - Lisbon International Horror Film Festival
              Lisbon, Portugal
            • Full Moon - Horror & Fantasy Film Festival
              Biertan, Romania
            • Grossman Fantastic Film and Wine Festival
              Ljutomer, Slovenia
            • Fangofest Amposta
              Amposta, Spain
            • Fanter Film Festival
              Cáceres , Spain
            • Molins Horror Film Festival
              Molins de Rei, Spain
            • Terrorificamente Cortos
              Palencia, Spain
            • Bai De Fest
              Roses, Spain
            • InFest International Short Film Festival
              Rubí , Spain
            • CIM Sueca
              Sueca, Spain
            • GALACTICAT Vl - Fantastic and Terror Festival in Tàrrega
              Tàrrega, Spain
            • Monsters of Film
              Stockholm, Sweden


            • Retro Avant Garde Film Festival Cairo Egypt
              Cairo, Egypt
              • Realtime International Film Festival
                Lagos, Nigeria


              • Bali International Short Film Festival
                Denpasar, Bali
                • International Short Film Festival
                  Pune, India


                • Monster Fest (Trasharama Roadshow)
                  Melbourne, Australia
                  • Sydney Indie Film Festival
                    Sydney, Australia
                  The Cherry on top

                  Over 25 awards and counting...

                  Five Course Meal was was recognized numerous times with awards, including Best FX and Make-Up from the Molins Horror Film Festival in Spain—one of the oldest dedicated horror film festivals in Europe.

                  • BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
                    Anatomy Crime-Horror International Film Festival
                  • WTF AWARD
                    Buried Alive Horror Film Festival
                  • AUDIENCE CHOICE
                    Cabane A Sang
                  • BEST SFX
                    Dead in Decatur
                  • BEST HORROR
                    Edmonton Short Film Festival
                  • BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
                    FAVA Fest
                  • BEST SFX
                    First Contact Film Festival
                  • MOST SHOCKING SHORT
                    Hexploitation Film Festival
                  • BEST SCENARIO
                    Knoxville Horror Film Fest
                  • CRAZIEST AND WEIRDEST
                    Loft and Loaded 6: Short Film Festival
                  • BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
                    Madeira Fantastic FilmFest
                  • BEST SHORT
                    Midwest Monster Film Fest
                  • BLOODIEST KILL
                    Midwest Monster Film Fest
                  • BEST SFX & MAKE-UP (SHORT)
                    Molins Horror Film Festival
                  • TRIPLE “M” AWARD
                    Muscatine Independent Film Festival
                  • PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
                    Night of Fear Festival
                  • BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
                    Night of the Horror Festival
                  • BEST PRACTICAL FX (SHORT)
                    PDXtreme - Portland Underground Film Festival
                  • BEST DIRECTOR (SHORT)
                    Requiem FearFest
                  • BEST HORROR SHORT
                    Retro Avant Garde Film Festival Cairo Egypt
                  • BEST MAKE-UP FX
                    Something Wicked Film Festival
                  • BEST SHORT
                    The Edmonton DEADbyCON Horror Festival
                  • BEST SHORT
                    The Grindhouse Video Film Festival at Tampa Bay Screams
                  • BEST MAKE-UP
                    Things 2 Fear Film Fest
                  • BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
                    Things 2 Fear Film Fest

                  Delectable Reviews

                  In a league of its own, it needed a barf bag it was so gross.

                  A short MASTERPIECE of horror filmmaking!

                  HEAD OVER REELS

                  The most vulgar display of gluttony I have yet to witness.

                  Few films, short or feature, can boast a plot as VOMIT-INDUCINGLY NASTY as James Cadden’s truly messed-up Five Course Meal!
                  BEN ROBINS, HEYUGUYS

                  Absolutely CRONENBERGIAN in its concept and execution!
                  HORRO, PROMOTE HORROR

                  The prosthetics by Bold Raven FX turn the film into an outright grotesque cartoon!
                  STING606, MOVIE MOTOR

                  The climax of the film has fantastic practical effects

                  Some really good visual effects made this sick little short stand out!
                  LONDON HORROR COMIC

                  If you enjoyed the Mr. Creosote scene from Monty Python and the Meaning of Life get ready for a fun ride!

                  It’s gross and funny and truly outrageous in the best possible way.
                  HEAD OVER REELS

                  The effects used to realize this upsetting vision, have a Cronenberg quality to them which makes the experience truly upsetting, in a fun way!
                  PAUL SALT, SCREEN MAYHEM

                  Great across the board, but extra kudos for the STOMACH-CHURNING special effects.
                  HORRO, PROMOTE HORROR