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Sault filmmaker to host new fantasy film fest this Sunday

Nathan 'Jonna’ Boulaine's production, 'Wendy and Peter' will be part of the short film showcase
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Wendy and Peter video still
Video still from 'Wendy and Peter'

This Sunday evening, McBully Productions is pleased to present the Northern Fantasy Film Showcase at Shooters Downstairs Lounge, 68 Dennis St. Three short films from aspiring Ontario filmmakers will be featured – Antithesis directed by Megan Toompuu, Forever 27 directed by Kristen McNaule and David Rajsic, and Wendy and Peter directed by Nathan “Jonna" Boulaine, a Saultite now living in Ottawa.

In addition to directing Wendy and Peter, Boulaine also wrote the film’s script, which he completed shortly before the tragic loss of his best friend.

“I wanted a script that embodied the idea of never growing old,” he told SooToday. “I had just watched the Disney version of Peter Pan and it sparked an idea. So, I was pulling from both ideas – my best friend and the classic film.”

Filmed in Haviland Bay utilizing a cast and crew of Sault Ste. Marie talent, principle photography for Wendy and Peter was completed in one day in April 2017. All but one actor involved in the project were under the age of 13 at the time.

Meagan Evans, the creative mind behind Wildling Tramp Jewelry Designs, co-produced the film with Boulaine and was also the production’s wardrobe designer. Her unique style contributed a great deal to the overall feel of the characters, Boulaine said.

“She and I worked really closely together,” he explained. “She came into it really not knowing what it was that I wanted, and I came into it not really knowing what it was that she’d be able to create. She and I were together every step of the way. She’s the creative genius, though. The headpieces and some of the very intricate wardrobe choices were her decision.”

After editing a version of Wendy and Peter for submission to Digi60, an Ottawa digital film festival, Boulaine stepped away from the project not completely satisfied with his final product. Six months passed before his guilt prompted him to reach out to another Saultite, Garrett Masters, for help. Masters’ final cut will be the version screened for the public Sunday evening.

“He did a fantastic job with the scoring, the cuts, the effects, everything about it,” Boulaine said. “As much as it’s my project, he definitely was one that helped bring it to life.”

Normally, Boulaine said, it would have been difficult for him to hand over creative control. But because of his time away from the project, Boulaine felt detached from the film.

“I was more inclined to see the project finished as opposed to having it done my way,” he said. “Had it been done my way, it would have taken a lot longer to finish. Sometimes it’s just better to bring other people on board and allow them to put their touch on things.”

“When I saw it for what it should have been through Garret’s vision, I immediately re-loved it. I’ve probably watched it 100 times since he gave me his rough cut.”

Wendy and Peter stars Jasmine Duguay and Aeden Colynuck Walsh. The director of photography is Dan Nystedt, and the film was produced by McBully Productions and Village Electric.

Doors open Sunday for the Northern Fantasy Film Showcase at 6 p.m. with screenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. Nathan “Jonna" Boulaine will be in attendance for a question and answer period following the screening. Admission is by $5 suggested donation and everyone is welcome to attend. Seating is limited.