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Short action film set to premiere at Sault Film Festival

Jade Yurich and Jamie Hegland’s 'Figures' is in the post-production phase and nearing readiness for its big-screen debut

Jade Yurich and Jamie Hegland’s “visceral action short” with “high energy, thrilling combat” is nearing the finishing line.

“We are 99.99 per cent of the way there,” says Yurich.

“We submitted our festival screener for judges but we’re just doing some last-minute colour revisions for the final theatrical to add a mood and emotional vibe. We need to get right for our audience to get the fullest visceral impact.”

The film’s director notes that all the post-production work should be completed by the time this story is published.

The duo has already held some test screenings for the short.

“Before we locked the cut in April, we had around fifteen people watch the film and give us their critique,” says Yurich.

“That was when the cut sat at around 26 minutes, the feedback round was so crucial in getting the film to where it’s at now.”

They also recently held a friends and family private screening.

“We have had a close friends and family screening to kick it off and it went very well," says Hegland.

“We were able to celebrate our achievement first with the very people who supported us the most and that’s important. Having the right people surrounding you while you showcase something that is so near and dear to your heart, something you’ve fought for, sweat for and literally bled for.”

Although the test audience feedback has been very positive, Hegland noted that many of the viewers wanted even more of the back story than a short format film can provide.

“The first cut of the film was around 30 minutes, then we were able to trim some fat and cut it down to 20 minutes. We were initially worried that it might be too long but it turns out people are wanting more.”

Yurich acknowledges that although the feedback from friends and family was satisfying, he was initially concerned about how others would view it.

“With friends and family, everyone was being really kind, supportive and complimentary of the film,” he says.

“Now, after it’s been accepted into numerous festivals and won some awards, I take it all back. I feel very confident in our film and the intent that we originally set out with it.”

Yurich notes that as an artist, having insecurity about the film is natural.

“When you’re striving for something perfect, the reality is that it’ll never be ‘perfect.’ You really do need to just let it go out into the world and do its thing.”

The duo was very thrilled when they found out that the film would premiere in the Sault.

“We are excited to bring this film home and showcase it in the city we grew up in,” says Hegland.

“We have a lot of support stemming from the community and we wanted to make sure we had the chance to show them what we were able to do as a couple of small-city boys with big-city dreams.”

Hegland says he is also pleased that they are part of a new wave of filmmakers from the community who are contributing to the growth of the professional film scene in Northern Ontario.

“We hope that we can further this growth by showing what Northern Ontario talent and creatives are capable of.”

In addition to the Sault Film Festival, the team has submitted applications to 50 film festivals from all around the world, with more applications to come in the new year.

“As of this moment, we have been accepted into eleven festivals, including several from Canada, as well as some from the USA, Sweden and Germany.”

Although the official premiere of the film still lies ahead, Figures has already won six awards, including “Best Action Short,” “Best Cinematography,” and “Best Sound Design.”

“We hope to continue the momentum and success of our journey so far,” says Hegland.

“We understand that there is no point in spending so much time and effort on a production for it to not be seen. So we plan to submit to many more festivals and get this film noticed all over the world.”

Both Hegland and Yurich plan to be in attendance at the Sault premiere. 

“I really hope the film stimulates a healthy conversation of what the story is about and what it took to create all of these action-packed sequences,” says Yurich.

Hegland agrees.

“We wouldn’t want to miss out on such a great experience. We would love to give a talk and hold a Q&A at the event,” he says.

Although Figures has not premiered yet, both Hegland and Yurich are already taking on some new film work.

“I’m working stunts on several other independent projects, as well as stunt coordinating for an upcoming short film,” says Hegland.

“Otherwise, I’m training and working to develop new skills and improve upon my current skillset in order to incorporate more exciting action elements into future films. I have several new ideas I’d like to film at some point in the future. For now, my focus is on the success of Figures and spreading the word.”

Yurich is set to direct a short romantic comedy called Rally to Serve at the end of October.

“It’ll be starring Vance Banzo, Andrew Packer & Joy Castro, all incredibly talented comedians in their own right,” he says.

“I also have a short documentary project that I’m aiming to shoot in late November in Sault Ste. Marie, chronicling a band that almost made it big called Polisi Bassoon.”

Yurich notes that he is also working full-time as an Associate Producer on a Crave Comedy series titled I Have Nothing, starring Carolyn Taylor of Baroness Von Sketch Show which will be released in March 2023.”

Figures will be premiered at the Sault Film Festival on Sunday, November 27 at 1 p.m. at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.

For more information on the Sault Film Festival, check the festival's website and Facebook page.

Find out more about Jamie Hegland and Jade Yurich on their Instagram pages.