05/20/2011 10:12 pm ET | Updated Jul 20, 2011

Winning With Soul : An Interview With Director Sean Kirkpatrick

Sean Kirkpatrick's debut film Cost of a Soul is a heavy, dark drama about how crime and drugs make life difficult for two veterans (Chris Kerson, Will Blagrove) returning to north Philadelphia from Iraq. For the 28-year-old rookie director, however, fortune appears to smiling.

The micro-budgeted film opens May 20 on 50 AMC Theatre screens around the United States because Cost of a Soul won Rogue/Relativity Media's Big Break Movie Contest. The judges for the Contest included Relativity Media president CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, Nikkole Denson-Randolph (Vice President of Specialty and Alternative Content for AMC Theatres) and actress Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush).

Before winning the contest, Kirkpatrick had maxed out credit cards but had been unable to find a distributor. Now thanks to Relativity and the Kansas City-based AMC, his situation has changed drastically. The film played on April 7 at KC FilmFest as a benefit for the children's charity Variety, and Kirkpatrick was in town to support his work.

"Independent films don't get this opportunity, ever. As far as I can tell statistically, this is the largest theatrical opening for a film with an ultra low budget, ever. I can't find a single other film that had a larger opening, with an ultra-low budget, so it's pretty amazing place to be," he said.