Roomies is a stepping stone to Junkyard

Roomies screens as part of the Atlantic Shorts Program 2 at this year's FIN Atlantic International Film Festival

A screenshot from the film short Roomies.
A screenshot from the film short Roomies.

Halifax Presents continues its series, speaking with local filmmakers to find out more about their films at this year’s FIN Atlantic International Film Festival.

In this Q&A, director Amy Trefry gives us some insight into the film short Roomies, which screens as part of the Atlantic Shorts Program 2.

This interview has been edited.

Tell us about Roomies. What can audiences expect?

Roomies is a sweet, feel-good film about two people discovering a connection they didn’t see before.

How did you find the story/what was your inspiration for the film?

Roomies was created for the specific purpose of our primary creative team to explore handheld, close up framing styles and lighting techniques using natural and practical lighting. The producer, director and writer of Roomies are collaborating on a feature film together, and Roomies was done specifically to look at the possible visual styles for the feature.  Having a two-hander with a simple storyline allowed us to focus more on the technical aspects we wanted to explore.

Why this particular film now?

As a creative team, we are applying for regional funding for our feature this year and wanted to work together on this smaller experimental project first to talk about lighting and camera techniques we may want to use for that larger project.

What was your biggest challenge in making the film?

Because this was done as a lighting/visual test, it was not particularly challenging to do, we had a great crew that volunteered their time to help out, and it was a very collaborative and exploratory process as we went.

What will surprise audiences about your film?

We wanted to see if we could create a sense of intimacy and vulnerability by using extreme close-ups and focusing on elements that are typically reserved for B-roll footage of the characters and their environment. The storytelling is not so much about the dialogue, our creative process focused more on bringing the small visual details of the story into the forefront, and we hope audiences connect with it.

What do you hope audiences walk away talking or thinking about after seeing the film?

Perhaps just a smile and a good feeling. There is a lot of serious and often dark content in the world right now; Roomies is meant to be light-hearted.

What’s next?

The feature Junkyard that Roomies was done as a lighting and camera test for has received development funding at this time and will be submitted to Telefilm for production financing in 2021.

The 2020 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival runs September 17-24. Visit finfestival.ca for a complete listing of film and tickets.