Film grads hit TIFF with micro-budget 'Amy George'
Canadian filmmakers Calvin Thomas (right) and Yonah Lewis are shown in a handout photo. Their film 'Amy George' debuted the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:40AM EDT
TORONTO - Earning a spot at the Toronto International Film Festival is a big coup for a director. Still, with a gaggle of Hollywood A-listers in town, it can be tough to grab a slice of the spotlight. Each day during the festival, The Canadian Press will take a look at notable Canuck movie-makers. Today, we profile Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas, who are at the fest with their debut feature "Amy George."
Age: 24 (Thomas) and 25 (Lewis)
Hometown: Burlington, Ont. (Thomas) and Toronto (Lewis)
In a nutshell: A 13-year-old boy enthralled by his alluring young neighbour seeks passion and escape from what he sees as his mundane middle-class life.
Star Wattage: Gabriel del Castillo Mullally (son of Canadian actress Maria Del Mar), drummer Don Kerr, author and playwright Claudia Dey
Backstory: Thomas and Lewis make their big screen debut just three years after graduating from the film program at Sheridan College. There's hardly an aspect of this coming-of-age tale they didn't handle themselves -- the duo wrote, directed, produced, photographed and edited the film. Friends and family helped, too, they say, allowing the pair to keep expenses below $50,000.
In the director's words: "A lot of people said, 'Yes,' which was really, really nice. We have three massive 'Thank you' title cards at the end of the movie. There's a lot of people who helped us out." -- Thomas.
"We wanted something that felt real to what we remembered from childhood. (Like) a lot of the fear of growing up and sort of the being unsure of what's happening and what's coming next and what people are talking about.... I don't know if that's necessarily represented regularly in teen cinema, it's usually just about sex and drugs." -- Lewis.