Local 107.3 Artist in Residence’s first screening of his short film titled Loveline took place on September 12 at Calahan’s pub.
Over 30 people filled the screening area to take in and support the project which tells a love story through a short film and three one hour radio segments.
Michael Mohan, a local filmmaker and photographer originally St Stephen, is the director of the film and radio project which is set in his home town.
“It’s about two people who love each other, who don’t know how they are going to continue to love each other as they grow up and move away, like your first love,” says Mohan reflecting on the roots of the storyline.
“A lot of (the theme) comes from just growing up in a small town, feeling like you want to leave, or feeling kind of hopeless, or how you aren’t sure how you relate to the rest of the world. I kind of wanted to go about these things in not a very deep way. I didn’t want to make a grand statement, which is why it is really just a love story.”
The film, while short, is beautiful. With stoic characters subtly conveying the unease and complexity of small town life helped by the talents of both the actors, Angel Bustard Ryan O’Toole.
Mohan moved to Saint John three years ago after studying film and photography in Nova Scotia and has been shooting other people’s films and movies in the province for the last few years.
The project was made possible through an Artist in Residence spot offered by Local 107.3 FM, UNB Saint John’s campus and community radio station.
“The station was able to get a grant from the Saint John community arts fund and offer, for the first time ever, an artist in residency over much of the month of August.” says Abigail Smith, Local FM’s Women’s Collective Co-ordinator who along with other staff and volunteers were involved in Loveline.
“The whole purpose of hosting this residency was share as many of our resources as possible with the artist,” says Smith.
“We blended film and radio, which seem like two disparate mediums, but it was really cool to see how it came through…(Mohan) managed to execute it very eloquently.”
This concept of telling the story through both radio and film was part of what helped Mohan secure the artist in residency position with the station.”Michael’s application for the residency was the most ambitious by far, and we didn’t want to put too much pressure on the artist, but he completely came through.” says Smith who is ecstatic with the final product.
“We are over the moon about how it turned out. He was able to convey a type of claustrophobia and anxiety but also was able to show how beautiful the area is. I think that people who are from New Brunswick struggle with leaving the place they grew up and becoming and adult in a rural town,” says Smith.
“The film is incredible and the three, one hour radio programs turned out beautifully.”
The trilogy of programs air this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 4pm on Local FM 107.3.