University of Victoria theatre grad Emily Piggford stars in Frost as Naya

Spotlight on Victoria talent at TIFF

Filmmaker, actress debut at prestigious Toronto International Film Festival

As filmmakers, actors and fans from around the world descend on Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival, Greater Victoria won’t go unrepresented.

Jeremy Ball, with his film Frost, is one of two Victoria-raised directors making their TIFF debuts this week. Frost stars recent University of Victoria theatre department grad Emily Piggford as Naya, a young arctic hunter in search of food.

The 13- minute sci-fi thriller, produced through the dramatic short film program at the Canadian Film Centre, was shot entirely on a sound stage in Toronto and through the magic of post-production, landed Naya in an icy arctic backdrop.

The film gave 38-year-old Ball, who has worked in visual effects on large-scale productions since attending the Beijing Film Academy, the chance to apply his knowledge to his own work, as he completed 25 to 30 of the 80 visual effect shots in Frost.

“There’s a school of thought where the director can hand over a cut of the film and be very loosely involved in the visual effects, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to do that and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to do that on this film,” he said. “I’m very hands on.”

Ball, also a UVic grad, was enthused to cast fellow UVic alumnus, Piggford – someone well-equipped to tackle the physical demands of the role with a solid background in theatre and dance.

“She has a tremendous attitude about the work and takes it very seriously,” said Ball, who despite showing allegiance to his hometown cohort, auditioned Piggford twice for two iterations of the project.

Frost is intended as a fairly straight-forward adventure narrative, Ball said.

“On a thematic level, I think it’s about legacy and how the things that we leave behind form the pathways for future generations, and also the importance of being able to not only see those, but go beyond them or transgress those things.”

Ball hopes to expand on those themes as he continues to develop the concept into a feature-length screenplay.

“Part of doing this is to show what is possible without going outside of Canada for resources,” he said. “A lot of people who have seen plans for the future have suggested it’s more of a Hollywood-style production, but we’ll see. Maybe the short will change peoples’ minds.”

Much of Ball’s so-called Hollywood visual effects work (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) has been conducted in South Africa, the Ukraine and China, where he lived for many years. He’d like to believe Canadian filmmakers will be able to one day stay within Canada and pursue a successful career in the industry.

His content, however, will remain universal.

“I’m interested in stories that cross cultural boundaries,” Ball said. “I’m interested in stories that have a universal or global appeal. I’m not interested in getting pigeon-holed in a particular genre of filmmaking, but I do like things that are innovative in terms of the way of telling stories or the kinds of stories being told.”

University of Victoria graduate student Connor Gaston was also accepted to the festival this year with his short film Bardo Light, which he produced last year while pursuing his undergraduate degree in the university’s writing department.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

Most Read