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Whistler Film Festival 2014 Interview: ALLY WAS SCREAMING director Jeremy Thomas

ALLY WAS SCREAMING - At Whistler Film Festival
by Jason Whyte

'Here is a merciless thriller that gets friends fighting and couples not speaking to each other. ALLY WAS SCREAMING is a moral rollercoaster, if such a thing were to exist, that acts as a tense suspense yarn at some times and as a dark comedy at others. Along the way you may root for our heroes, who may actually be villains, or fall for its antagonist, (who may be heroic, or realize that the heroes who you thought were villains may be heroic after all. Unless you believe that murder can never be justified. Something tells me that we are not all going to agree, but we may at least be remitted as the eerie drama unfolds. Unless it's a comedy... Or both.' Director Jeremy Thomas on his film ALLY WAS SCREAMING which screens at the 2014 Whistler Film Festival.

Is this your first visit to Whistler for the film festival?

This is my first visit to Whistler Film Festival, and as it emerges as Canada's answer to Sundance I am sure I will be every bit as nervous as I feared. I have been making movies now since I was a teenager, and was just good enough to keeping making one more. Now that I have hit my early 40s I have enough self knowledge that when friends remind me, especially when times are tough, that at least I'm doing what I love, I can answer that I'm not. Don't get me wrong; I am super lucky and I have the most supportive team. But pre-production makes me faint, production totally freaks me out and editing gives me deep existential conflict. But at least when it is all said and done I get to show it at beautiful prestigious festivals like this one, right? In theory, yes, but again, I'm starting to feel faint. But I'll end on a positive note: Francois Truffaut praised filmmakers who expressed either the agony or ecstasy of filmmaking. So subscribing to the prior may not be such a sin.

Furthermore, because filmmaking poses such a challenge, I am only interested in doing one if I am utterly passionate about it, both cinematically and socially. And ALLY WAS SCREAMING hits themes which I care deeply about and voices them with they kind of care, elegance, & humour that I look for when I go to the movies.

So how did ALLY WAS SCREAMING come about from your perspective?

I really wanted a movie depicting characters who challenge their moral intuition with the hope that the audience would question theirs as they come along for the ride. Why? I'm not alone here as an artist; for no lesser aim than to change the world. I do not know the answers. Neither does the movie, but it knows the questions that will take us further down that rabbit hole.

My previous feature THE END did this too, questioning our free will, & our shared reality. But ALLY WAS SCREAMING is much more relatable.

What was the most challenging aspect of this movie from your eyes?

As hard as the process can be, what makes it work for me, and can even exhilarating at times, is the team. With our veteran Robert Cuffley (director of FEROCIOUS and WFF entry WALK ALL OVER ME), to the wise-young-diligent producer Colin Sheldon, to our old cowboy production manager Tom BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Benz, to our stylish and elegant cinematographer Dan Dumochel and his camera team, to the Emmy-nominated sound team from Propeller, to the wickedly talented cast, and so on and so on, this team has lifted this little movie to heights I could have only hoped at conception. As well as saved my ass a few times along the way!

Seriously an awesome answer. And finally, as I always ask everyone, what is your all time favorite movie?

What is my favourite movie? You stole my question. I ask everyone I meet; even the cashiers at my local 7-11. So I'll leave you with this. You'll know me when you meet me because I'll ask you that question. And you'll get to know mine only then. But I will say this: hints lie in the content of our movie itself!

This is one of the many films playing at the 2014 Whistler Film Festival. For show information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website HERE

Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a photo or two. You can also follow the festival on my Instagram at jason.whyte!

Jason Whyte,

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originally posted: 12/06/14 04:23:41
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