For two very good reasons, news of an Island short film called Queen of the Crows has been flying about in all directions over the past couple of weeks.
These two reasons are: a) It is a truly exceptional short film; and b) The 11-minute film was selected to screen at the Cannes International Film Festival next month in France.
Written and directed by Island filmmaker Harmony Wagner and produced by Jason Rogerson, Queen of the Crows stars Kristen Thompson and Kelly Caseley of Charlottetown (along with swarms of our plentiful Victoria Park crows), and it depicts the tale of a young girl who is labelled with a psychological disorder due to her obsession with acting like a crow.
The film has been chosen by Telefilm Canada to be screened along with 30 other Canadian short films at Cannes that will together make up a showcase called Canada: Not Short on Talent.
All this is to say, by this time next month, the talents of Island film workers and actors will have been shown to international markets at one of the most prestigious and publicized film festivals in the world.
Last Friday night, an event was held at The Guild in Charlottetown called Crows Fly to Cannes: a fundraiser to help generate support for the big trip over to Cannes next month for Wagner and Rogerson.
Featuring a screening of the film, followed by a Q and A and several musical performances by local acts, the evening attracted a great crowd of Island film-enthusiasts and those who are thoroughly excited for the pair at this springboard point in the trajectory of their film careers.
“We’re pretty excited about the opportunity to represent P.E.I. over there at Cannes,” said Jason Rogerson, as he and Wagner stood in front of the screen prior to the presentation of the film last Friday.
“We’re thrilled. We’ve just been kind of stunned by the news, and then now we’re just slipping into our producer mode and trying to make the best of this opportunity,” he added.
Wagner then emphasized how much of a team effort this has been and thanked all those who were and have been involved with the film.
“The momentum behind this film is astounding me,” Wagner went on to say.
“And I really want to use this opportunity to make a future for P.E.I. because it’s 2014, and P.E.I. is going to Cannes, and I think that’s incredible.”
Wagner elaborated further in saying that she hopes this film’s presence at Cannes can help attract major attention to the Island film industry that is still beginning to take shape but has all the potential in the world to grow, to be innovative and to prosper.
“I just think that it’s really time for us to get on the crest of the wave,” she added.
The film was received in adoration by the audience, who then engaged with Rogerson and Wagner in a set of questions and answers on the film and on what will be in store for the two of them next month in Cannes.
An engaging set of tunes by Mitch Schurman (the film’s composer) followed, as performances by Got Blues, Lady Soul (a brand new vibrant nine-piece soul band led by Kelley Mooney on lead vocals) and The Love Junkies then turned the evening into a hopping dance party to close out the night.
If you’d like to still give a boost to Wagner and Rogerson in their crow’s flight over to France next month, help them in their Kickstarter campaign and put forth a donation at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonandharmony/queen-of-the-crows-to-cannes.
Next week: Laura Smith at the season opener of Trailside Café in Mount Stewart tonight.
Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.
1. Laura Smith – Trailside Café, Mount Stewart, today at 8 p.m. with dinner seating at 6:30 p.m. The celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter from Mahone Bay, N.S., will open Trailside's 2014 season.
2. Holland College SOPA Performances – The Mack, today and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
3. Belfast Players: The Chickens Are Playing Our Song – Belfast Recreation Centre, today and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds go to the Belfast Rink.
4. Dr. Magnificent's Travelling Musical Medicine Show – Harbourfront Theatre, Summerside, today at 7:30 p.m.
5. aBigWHAT Sketch Comedy Show – The Guild, today and tomorrow at 9 p.m.
6. Ron Hynes – Trailside Café, tomorrow and Sunday. Dinner seating is at 6:30 and show time is at 8 p.m.
7. The Queens County Fiddlers – The Guild, Sunday at 2 p.m. The group's annual concert, for the first time ever, will present a showcase of traditional fiddle music, built entirely around the group's members.
8. An Evening with guitar virtuoso Don Ross – The Factory, Sunday at 7 p.m.