Actress, 91, to star at Montreal
It's not often you see a female movie star over the age of 60. But it's a 91-year-old who is at the heart of a local film selected to appear at the Montreal World Film Festival later this month.
Dotty is a short film from Auckland movie-makers Mick Andrews and Brett O'Gorman. In less than 11 minutes, the film tells the story of an elderly woman living in a rest home, who desperately wants to send a text message to her daughter but struggles with the technology.
It is the directorial debut for the pair, who have known each other since meeting in their high school's Indonesian class 16 years ago.
Andrews says hearing the self-funded film had been chosen for the international festival was a special moment.
"It was almost kind of emotional. You put all this work into something and you're proud of what you've made...but you do doubt yourself. You wonder if it has the emotion and the feeling that you wanted to put into it when you wrote it, or is it just dull and boring?
"Then when someone from across the other side of the world says 'we really loved your film, and we want to show it' it's almost like a relief."
Films from around seventy-five countries will screen at the Canadian festival, kicking off on August 23. Festival director Daniele Cauchard said she is honoured to present the world premiere of Dotty.
The film stemmed from a TV script the pair had been working on for about five years. Set in a rest home, Sundowning didn't quite have the "pull" from a broadcaster's point of view.
But Andrews says with a first-time leading lady like 91-year-old Joyce Irving, the film is a delightful alternative.
"[Joyce] is awesome. As soon as we saw her face we thought 'wouldn't it be amazing if she could act?'...She auditioned and she just had these magic moments - there was just so much behind her eyes - and I don't know if that was her trying to remember her lines..."
Irving is joined by the familiar face of actress Alison Bruce in the film, which is equal parts heartbreaking and funny.
Andrews and O'Gorman are no strangers to critical acclaim; along with comedian Jamie Bowden, the pair were nominated for a Billy T Award for the trio's act, GARY.
But it is filmmaking that they are pouring their energy, and their own money, into these days - the film's $14,000 budget was paid for out of their own pockets and neither of the directors will be able to travel to Montreal to join in a series of talks about the industry, because of the cost.
"It's kind of a hard one to part with that kind of cash to make a movie. But at the same time, you can spend a lot of money on courses and we learnt so much making it, I'm absolutely happy spending that money on it. And if we hadn't done that, we'd still be wannabe filmmakers without a movie under our belts."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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