THE GOLDEN KEY is a drama/adventure student short film directed by Katie Travis and a MCTC Cinema Division Production 2012. The tale of a young prairie boy whose search for treasure is crushed by a devastating tragedy. He must overcome his fears or lose everything.


Director: Katie Travis

Producers: Katie Travis, Karen Travis, Rebecca Heerdt, Luke Johnson

Screenwriter: Abbie Elrod

Screen Story: Katie Travis

Director of Photography: Innokenty Zavyalov

Editor: Joey Albrecht

Art Directors: Tom Heerdt & Rebecca Heerdt

Music Composer: Kathryn Knuttila

Costume Designer: Karen Travis

Academic Advisors: Santanu Chatterjee, Mary Ahmann, Hafed Bouassida

IAN: Noah Coon

HELEN: Anna Klemp

JOHN: Roger Wayne

About the Project

THE GOLDEN KEY was Katie Travis’ thesis project upon graduating Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s A.S. degree program in Cinema: Directing and Producing. This 1800s time-period production was filmed on location in Hector, Minnesota in February 2012. The original story of this short film was inspired by the short story by The Brothers Grimm of the same title. The film was shot over five days in the unpredictable Minnesota winter with the Panasonic HPX-170 camera. This film’s original musical score was composed by Kathryn Knuttila from McNally Smith College of Music. THE GOLDEN KEY premiered in May 2012.


Winner of MCTC’s 2012 Cinema Excellence Awards for “Best Director”, “Best Cinematographer”, “Best Editor”, and a Finalist for “Best Screenwriter”.

MAY 11, 2012 – THE GOLDEN KEY screened at the MCTC Short Film Expo.

JUNE 19, 2012 – Katie Travis FILM GRADUATION CELEBRATION at Marcus Shakopee Cinema

SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 – SUMMONED Premiere Screening at Marcus Shakopee Cinema