Local shorts: Kingston filmmakers in the spotlight at the 2019 Kingston Canadian Film Festival

Saturday night, tucked away in the Baby Grand Theatre, local filmmakers took to the stage to exhibit their latest short film work. This category of Local Shorts was titled “Departures” and gave us three films, “Tales from the Breakroom”, “The Dark Path 211”, and “The Honey Bees of Tanshikar”.

From the heart of downtown Kingston, we were first transported to Goa, India where we met a farmer who was also a beekeeper. Since taking up the hobby, production on the farm had doubled for many crops because the bees helped increase pollination, in turn increasing crop growth. The only threat to his way of life – climate change. The monsoon season used to last only four months, now it stretches into six.

“Tales from the Breakroom” gives us a behind-the-scenes look at life for the thugs often disposed of by the superheroes of so many stories. From looking for cafeteria privileges, to discussing who was responsible for the latest mistake, viewers had the chance to take a lighthearted look at those disposable characters we regularly see on screen, but never get to know.

“The Dark Path 211” is a concept piece focused on the idea that there is always an alternative to our choices. We watch as a man struggles with his own inner demons, and how he reaches out for help. With a focus on mental health, the film aims to show that there are options out there.

Once the films wrapped, a short Q&A took place with the directors of the three films. Brent Nurse, director of “Tales from the Breakroom”; Dave Wreggitt, director of “The Dark Path 211”; and Curtis Brunet, director of “The Honey Bees of Tanshikar”, talked about their films and the process of bringing their stories to the screen.

While Nurse commented that it only took a few weeks to bring the story of the hapless goons of “Tales from the Breakroom” together, it was based on an idea from many years ago, combined with refined input from others to make the story we saw.

Wreggitt talked about how he used one-scene takes for his film “The Dark Path 211”. About three months of filming in small bits with volunteers, Wreggitt wanted to bring awareness to alternative choices with his story.

Brunet said that “The Honey Bees of Tanshikar” took three days of shooting, with an additional three months of working on it to make it to the screen. As the discussion concluded, the Kingston filmmakers were an excellent example of the innovative work being done by local talent.

I always knew that short films were small, self-contained stories that had a limited time to get their point across. It never dawned on me until this night that some of the best stories can be told on-screen in fifteen minutes or less.

Bill Gowsell

Bill has been an elementary school teacher for the last 12 years. His passion for writing includes a wide variety of interests, from history, food, pop culture, and anything to do with Disney. Recently he published his second book, Extra Magic Days: Thirty Years of Walt Disney World Vacations. Learn more about Bill...

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