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Two Dontas, One Proctor wins first place and People’s Choice at 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown

Kris and Kevin Dontas join with Ryan Proctor and Kian Esmaili to make short film about pizza and bank robbery
2024 winners of the 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown, left to right: Ryan Proctor, Kian Esmaili, Kris Dontas and Kevin Dontas.

Kris and Kevin Dontas ask each other weird questions all the time. They ponder avant-garde philosophical debates and off-the-wall moral dilemmas on a regular basis, and it’s a trend they’ve adapted into their filmmaking. This time around, the query was as follows: 

“If someone were to hand you the perfect pizza, would you eat it if you could only do so once?” 

The brothers and their buddies Ryan Proctor and Kian Esmaili decided to address this question in cinematic form. It earned them first place and an accompanying $5,000 prize at the latest World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown. 

Two Dontas One Proctor Productions is familiar with this achievement, having last unlocked it in 2023 for their previous submission Would You Rather. They one-upped themselves this time with The Pizza Problem, which also netted the People’s Choice Award and a $500 Gibbons gift card.

“I feel like when you get the judges’ approval, it's confirmation that you made a good film,” opines Kevin. “Your audio was clear and crisp, your lighting was on point, your story made sense from front to back. But when you get the audience's approval as well, it means not only did you tick all those boxes, but you did it in a way that made a really enjoyable and fun film for people to watch.

“It’s like icing on the cake—or tomato sauce on the pizza.” 

Third time’s the charm

The 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown requires participants to shoot, edit and produce a movie within 100 kilometres of Whistler in three days. Projects can be recorded on any device, and must be three to five minutes in length. 

There’s a particular restaurant in the Dontas’ hometown of Corunna, Ont. named Antonio’s Pizza. This establishment inspired not only the premise of their video, but a key role within it (a world-renowned pizza maker who ends up pitting Kevin and Proctor’s characters against each other). Two Dontas One Proctor elected to challenge themselves with a dialogue-heavy script, as opposed to the visual comedy of Would You Rather. 

The greatest logistical hurdle turned out to be the procurement of a panel van to serve as a criminal’s getaway vehicle. 

Recalls Kris: “For weeks leading up [to the shoot], we were literally leaving sticky notes on random people's vans saying: ‘Hey, would you rent your van out for the weekend?’” 

A friend eventually offered his van but asked for it to remain in Squamish, so the crew used that one for interior scenes and a second vehicle for additional shots in Pemberton. 

“This being our third time doing the 72-Hour Showdown, we definitely remembered a lot of the hurdles that you always face when doing this project,” says Kevin. “We have found more tricks of the trade in tackling the problems. This was our very first time writing out a full script before we started filming a movie, and it worked really well.

“When we laid out all the footage on the timeline, it was exactly five minutes long, and we've never had that happen before.” 

‘We’re just happy to be here’ 

The Pizza Problem unfolds with some of the same morbid tonal contrast found in a superhero action comedy like Marvel’s Deadpool or DC’s The Suicide Squad. 

Kevin and Proctor play two eccentric bank robbers who are fully capable of shooting the breeze about whether they would eat the perfect pizza only once…minutes before producing suppressed handguns and climbing out of their van to grab the cash. Not long afterwards, they rush back to the vehicle: one of them is covered in tomato sauce to represent a particularly messy kill.

The hostage they bring turns out to be Antonio (played by Kris), who can make the very paragon of a pizza that the criminals had been contemplating—so do they leave him alive? Stakes escalate from there as the robbers quickly turn on each other, their philosophical differences too much to overcome. 

“We wanted to have the characters be these hyper-intelligent sociopaths,” Kris explains. “They're robbing a bank while talking about a silly philosophical question about pizza. They've been best friends forever but they're finally at odds with one another, and it's such a pivotal point in their relationship that they're going to fight to the death.

“We wanted to get that across in five minutes … to keep pace, to not over-explain the idea but explain it enough.” 

At the end of the day, Proctor and the Dontas brothers are simply grateful to be supported by the Whistler community in their creative hijinks. 

“We keep saying: We're just happy to be here,” Kris expresses. “We love just coming up with a silly idea and making a video. The fact that people get to laugh, enjoy it, smile and then vote for our video … it was an honour, honestly.” 

Learn more about the WSSF at and watch The Pizza Problem on YouTube