Truro native's short film to be showcased at major film festival

Raissa Tetanish
Published on April 11, 2016

TRURO – In the film-making world, it's the Holy Grail for many.

For Leah Johnston, the reality of having her work showcased during the Cannes Film Festival is just settling in.

"I just want to take in as much as possible, and participate in networking events," she said. "I don't know who I will run into. Cannes is often the world premiere for a lot of big directors, so I'm sure there will be some there I know and will want to meet."

The 30-year-old Truro native is heading to the iconic festival in France next month, where her short film "Ingrid and the Black Hole" will be showcased in Telefilm's Not Short on Talent program at Cannes Market.

"I'm really, really excited. This was very unexpected," said Johnston.

The young director had previously entered other works through Telefilm Canada for the opportunity, but was never successful.

"So to be chosen now, it was a big surprise," she said.

"Ingrid and the Black Hole" is the first short Johnston had written, but the most recent one to be filmed. It's about Alzheimer's, and how it parallels with time travel. The story features two children who discover a black hole, imagining what it would be like to travel through time.

The short won a $35,000 BravoFACT prize last year to help with filming. At the time, Johnston said it was a concept that stuck with her over the years, and she realized the similarities to time travel when she helped look after her grandmother with Alzheimer's.

When Johnston found out just before Easter her film was chosen, she knew she wanted to go to the festival.

"The province is more different now than it was more than a year ago," she said.

At that time, funding was available to help those in her shoes head to festivals such as Cannes when the opportunity arose. Now, that support isn't available.

"I knew it would be a worthwhile thing, I just didn't know if it would be feasible. But how often do you get to go to the Cannes Film Festival? It will be great to meet other filmmakers involved in this program, and it will help broaden my network."

Johnston is working on a new project, "Creature He," and hopes to pitch her idea while at the festival.

Johnston arrives May 10 for the Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 11 to 22. Her short is being showcased May 18.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa