For all the lovers of cinema, here’s a great opportunity to donate to the production of a short film that’s written and produced by a filmmaker raised in Houston, and inspired by her early life experiences.
Writer Ann Marie Hak’s film Wishing Fall, winner of the the 2020 CineSpark Screenplay competition, is in preparation for production which is set to take place at the end of the month. Hak was raised in the Wet’suwet’en Territory, by a Czechoslovakian father and a Filipina mother, and her upbringing is where the idea for the film came from.
“As the writer and executive producer of Wishing Fall, I grew up in Northern B.C. and wanted to tell a story that was close to my roots,” Hak told Houston Today.
As part of the contract with CineSpark for winning the screenplay competition, along with some help from other sponsors, the film received resources and funding worth $17,500. According to Hak, more fundraising is being held in order to cover some of the extra costs that go into a film production. “We anticipate an additional $5,005 to spend in paying our actors, crew, as well as covering food, transportation, accommodation and post production costs.” She said.
Though inspired by her childhood, the plot of the film is fictional, and not about Hak’s life.
“I chose to explore male relationships because I think the question of what masculinity looks like is still a very relevant question that many young and adult men are finding their own way to answer,” said Hak. “Wishing Fall is about an overbearing Newfie stepfather trying to bond with his Filipino stepson on a camping trip. New to the role as a father figure, Graham takes his future stepson, Emil, on a camping trip in hopes to bond with him through fly-fishing and a hike to a special waterfall that Graham’s own dad used to take him to.Emil, still grieving the death of his dad, rebels against all of Graham’s attempts to get closer to him.Unlike Graham, Emil is a skilled camper that doesn’t believe he has anything to learn or gain from this wanna-be stepdad. Stuck camping together for the weekend, these two men will either have to find common ground or deepen the rift between them.”
Hak said that masculinity that suppresses emotion is something she experienced with her own father and could see stifling her brother and male friends. Wishing Fall explores male relationships and masculinity through the lens of two characters that both have deceased fathers, asking the question of how masculinity is defined by the absence and presence of fathers and father figures.
The shooting of film will take place on Vancouver Island over three days from Aug. 30 to Sep. 2. There are only two actors in the cast and a total production team of ten people.
According to Hak, casting a Filipino actor, or a male of a visible minority for the role of Emil was a non-negotiable.
“As a half Filipina, it is important to me that we found that representation or at least gave this opportunity to persons in the industry that are underrepresented,” She told Houston Today. “I’m very grateful to the team for understanding and advocating with me about this importance, and I’m very grateful for the directors and producers I have been connected to in helping me find a Filipino actor.”
Under the CineSpark contract, the film will premiere in theatres in Victoria in May 2022 at the next CineSpark festival. After that, Hak hopes to apply to various Filipino film festivals as well as national ones throughout Canada.
Despite the contract with CineSpark, Hak and her production team still need help to hit their required budget, specifically for covering production and post-production expenses.
To donate to the production of Wishing Fall, please visit the fundraiser at tinyurl.com/wishingfall. More details regarding where the proceeds will be going are available on the website as well.