From Staple Hill tunnel to Hollywood ...

May 08 2017

A FISHPONDS short filmmaker who chose the setting of the Bristol to Bath cycle path for her latest horror film has been making waves in Hollywood.

A FISHPONDS short filmmaker who chose the setting of the Bristol to Bath cycle path for her latest horror film has been making waves in Hollywood.

Gabriela Staniszewska, 35, filmed I Should Have Run for just £200.

But it would appear a small budget is no indication of quality as the four-minute movie has already won six awards and a rave review by Blumhouse Productions, the Hollywood studio responsible for the Paranormal Activity, Insidious and Sinister series.

The studio - makers of recent horror box-office hit Get Out - showcased the film on their website with the introduction: “ is thrilled to premiere the frightening new horror short I Should Have Run. Directed by talented newcomer Gabriela Staniszewska, I Should Have Run took the festival world by storm last year, winning multiple awards and gaining many accolades.”

Gabriela, who appeared in the film as well as writing, filming, directing, producing and editing it, said: “We had a very small crew of only four people and shot the film over three nights in rather chilly conditions. But the location was fantastic! The Staple Hill tunnel has always creeped me out and I’m glad I got a chance to use it for a horror.”

Gabriela studied American Studies with Film at Kings College in London before completing a Masters degree in production at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

She has since worked on various film projects including Blaise (2012), a zombie film set in an abandoned mill on the outskirts of Bristol.

Another notable short film was The Spring which was made in 2014 on a budget of just over £1,000 and was filmed in a lock-up at the back of her family's business, Ridgeway Road Auto Engineering in Fishponds. 

I Should Have Run has so far won six awards on the festival circuit, including Best International Fiction at the Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2016 and the Final Girls Award for Best Female Director at the Unrestricted View Film Festival in London, as well as the coveted Best Sci-Fi/Horror award at Imagine This Women’s Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York.  

It has so far appeared at 24 film festivals around the world including the Bristol Film Festival in March 2017.

The film tells the story of a woman walking home alone at night down the cycle path when she encounters something strange and terrifying. When she is asked a question, her sheer terror causes her to lie - with disastrous consequences. 

Gabriela said: "I Should Have Run deals with themes of depression and grief, the mistakes you make along your journey, the lies you tell yourself and others and ultimately the dire consequences of those lies."

Gabriela is currently working on her first horror feature, and continuing to look at the way horror can be used to express psychological issues and emotional hardship. 

She said: “Horror is a very unsubtle way of talking about very subtle things and is an excellent medium through which to discuss mental health issues - it is ethereal, unmanageable, terrifying and difficult to grasp. Horror also allows for a certain poetic licence, which is absolutely necessary when trying to shine a light on mental health issues.”

The film can be viewed online at

For more information on Gabriela Staniszewska visit or see her Facebook and Twitter pages: and @gabstaniszewska