Kelowna, British Columbia – When Shri Ananda entered the ‘Script 2 Screen’ contest hosted by OSIF (the Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking) in January, he had no idea the ride he was in for. The local indie film maker, who won the contest days later, was given a short seven weeks to plan, shoot, produce and edit his short film ‘Out of the Darkness’.
“We were shooting 16 hours a day, sometimes more,” recalls Ananda, “and there is no way we could have done it without the absolute flood of community and business support.”
Which is ironic, since a core theme of the film is corporate greed.
“It was amazing how the Kelowna community stepped up.” Shri Ananda reflects, “Each week we’d find ourselves stuck – two days before a shoot and with no location. Before I would put the call out, I’d breathe deeply, coming to a place of trust. And within an hour, we’d have a location donated.”
And it didn’t stop there: food sponsors and even cast and crew donated time and supplies – a total of 68 volunteers and companies joined the project. “As soon as they heard the story of the film, they were moved to be on board.”
‘Out of the Darkness’ is an inspirational journey into the shifting of consciousness. In it Director Shri Ananda masterfully weaves together art, music and story-telling. Through the eyes of Mia we glimpse the corporate greed that’s being revealed around the globe. Audiences agree that Mia’s journey mirrors their own as she navigates her way out of her darkness and into the light. She has the high powered job, the boyfriend and the illusion of the perfect life. What happens when what we have no longer defines us?
This is a new-age, coming-of-age film that gives hope to each of us who ask, who am I really?
The long nights and community collaboration paid off. The film was ready in time for Okanagan IndieFest; a festival to showcase local filmmakers. On March 24th a crowd gathered at the Paramount Theatre, which was days away from closing its doors after 67 years in Kelowna. ‘Out of the Darkness’, along with 11 other short films and documentaries, were selected to be projected onto the big screen. Shri Ananda and his team took home two awards that evening for ‘Best Cinematography’ and ‘Best Post-Production’.
So what’s next on this wild ride? “We’ll be submitting the film to Toronto Film Festival as well as Sundance. People need to see this movie.” Locals in Kelowna can join the cast and crew on Sunday May 1, 2016 at the Kelowna Community Theatre for a premiere screening of the director’s cut, followed by a live musical performance of Adam Meachem, and an art exhibit of Shannon Johnston who also appears in the film. Tickets and Information available at www.OutOfTheDarknessTheFilm.com
Low budget film projects such as this are only made possible through the generosity and support of local businesses and individuals. It started with studio time donated by The Film Factory, visual effects work done by Allegiance Studios, and access to all the filmmaking gear courtesy of OSIF. Then the community really stepped up with food donations provided by The Jitterbug Diner, Murray’s Pizza, The White Spot, and the Ekahi Yoga Center. Location donations have been made possible by the Central Okanagan Sailing Association, ARTE functional, The Energy Plex, Ekahi Yoga Center, and the Okanagan College.