I attended the July Kino Screening for Kino Ottawa last night. It was my first time attending the monthly event. I am new to the filmmaking culture in Ottawa, and this was my first opportunity outside of training with the Screen Acting Academy to meet others involved in the community. The host for the screening was Vincent Valentino, an actor and filmmaker who submitted his short film "The Upsidedown Man" for the screening. His film is a progression of dream-like sequences, a self-portrait with an introspective voiceover as he reflects on life and love with his girlfriend, Sara Chivot.
In addition, I met Lisa Meuser, my agent, for the first time in person. I was there to see the short film "Trigger;" Lisa wrote the screenplay, and Petra Watzlawik-Li is among the cast. I went to South Carleton High School with Petra in the latter half of the 1970s. Petra and I are on the list of actors Lisa represents. The film is a moving tale of the petty dispute between neighbours that ends in the tragic death of a woman with mental illness at the hands of the police. Petra and the rest of the cast gave solid performances.
Before the screening started, I sat at a table with Tyler Pope, an actor and videographer. While he sipped his bottle of Budweiser and I nursed my glass of ginger ale, we had a pleasing discussion about his experience as an actor and filmmaker and my recent transition from stage acting into screen acting. Tyler appeared in one of the films shown, "The Floral Project," and worked behind the camera in another of the films we viewed. He was duly praised by the appreciative audience. He is a multitalented young man.
In all, the films screened last night ran the gamut from comedy, drama and dramedy. While some films were firmly dramatic or comic, some had elements of both. It made me think of a quotation from Carol Burnett's mother, who sardonically remarked that "comedy is tragedy with timing." The short films screened at the July Kino Screening last night highlighted the creativity and imagination of all those who participated in their production. A discussion between Vincent, the filmmakers, and the actors followed the screening; they also took questions from the audience. A good time was had by all who attended, myself included. I look forward to the following screening later this month. Indeed, I hope to one day appear in one of the films screened.