Taking the World of Independent Filmmaking by Storm

Category: movies 157

Fredericton filmmaker continues path of success with latest film.

Acreman at Silver Wave 2015. Photo by Gary Weekes

While it might be a slight exaggeration to say Fredericton filmmaker Jillian Acreman is taking the world of independent filmmaking by storm, she’s certainly making a strong impression. No one can argue that.

During last year’s Silver Wave Film Festival, POP, a Ryan O’Toole film produced by Arceman, made its silver screen debut.  The film was later chosen for screening as part of Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent showcase.  And this year she has once again made her mark on home turf with her latest short film, Marigolds, which stars Fredericton actor Ryan O’Toole as a man “having a shitty day” and finding his place within the wide world around him.

Marigolds is a stunning visual accomplishment. It’s short, sweet, and straight to the point filmmaking that manages to create and develop a unique visual atmosphere and aesthetic in less than eight minutes. Each scene is precise and clean in its intention, delivering a solid storyline and one that feels as satisfying as a full-length feature.

“I’m proud of this film for so many reasons,” said Acreman, “but one of them is the clarity of thought in the story. I’m always working towards finding my own space.”

Marigolds is a wonderful testament to Acreman’s growth as an artist and is a confident step forward in both her filmmaking and her own artistic vision.

The use of motion is a major part of what makes this film work so well. Practically every shot is moving in some fashion, creating a sense of urgency that relates to the central character as much as it does the storyline.

“My approach to shooting is pretty simple,” she said.  “I like shots that help the story progress, without being distracting. Marigolds is a short story that moves quickly, so it made sense when I was mapping it out that the camera would be in near constant motion. When Ryan is stuck, or stops to reflect, the camera mirrors his pause.”

Her use of narration is another major contributor to the film’s overall feel, offering a sense of comfort to an otherwise uncomfortable character.

“When I was applying for funding to shoot the film, I had written a treatment of the story, which is what I referenced in writing the script,’ she said.  “When I read the treatment out loud I thought it just seemed fitting.  When we put the narration track and the picture together it made me laugh because it reminded me of a BBC wildlife special.”

After winning the award for Best New Brunswick Short Drama at this year’s SWFF, Acreman, her company Columbus Avenue Pictures, and her film will now take on the international festival circuit.

“I’m hoping audiences are as kind as they have been here,” she said.  “It’s a New Brunswick film in every sense, so we’ll see if the regionalism holds its charm elsewhere.”


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