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Feature by Harmony Wagner selected for Atlantic Film Festival

Sophie MacLean in Singing to MyselfSinging To Myself, a feature length film written and directed by Harmony Wagner has been selected for the Atlantic Film Festival. The film will screen on September 20 at Park Lane Cineplex Cinemas, Halifax as part of the Atlantic Focus Program.

Islander Sophie MacLean plays Iris, a young deaf woman at a crossroads in life. Dissatisfied with the idea of going deep into debt to go to school and struggling to connect with the hearing world, she embarks on journey to embrace her solitude and learn to be happy with less. 

“I think Sophie could be the next Ellen Page,” says Wagner. “We worked together on my first short film VAST and I couldn’t forget how sophisticated her acting chops are.”

Iris’ efforts to be self-sufficient in silence are thwarted when a precocious musician, Celeste, played by another Islander, Bryde MacLean (no relation), gets a job at the greenhouse where she works.

“Bryde has an incredible presence onscreen and on stage. She starred in Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad at the Confederation Centre last season and went on to play in Blithe Spirit at the Watermark this year, so I was thrilled to get to work with her on this feature,” says Wagner.

Singing to Myself was shot on location in French River, Thunder Cove, and Charlottetown. 

Tess Marie Garneau of Island-based production company Tiny Town Media is the cinematographer.

“If you think the ratios are bad for women directors, it’s even worse out there for cinematographers. Tess is an award-winning talent with a keen eye and rich trove of knowledge. She is definitely someone to be watched. Plus, it was cool, because she sings to herself while she works,” says Wagner.

Singing To Myself was a recipient of a 1K Wave Atlantic award presented by Women in Film and Television and pUNK Films. The initiative challenged five female filmmakers to make five features in five months for only $1000 each. 

“Given the budget constraints,” says producer Jason Rogerson, “we could never have done this without the support of The Guild and the Island Media Arts Coop.”

Singing To Myself boasts a soundtrack of Island talent, featuring music by Sorrey, Racoon Bandit, KINLEY, and Jenn Grant with sound design by the Hill Sound Studio. The film was produced by Jason Rogerson and Harmony Wagner of Charlottetown’s Periscope Pictures and Executive produced by Kim McTaggart (WIFT-Atlantic) and Ingrid Veniger (pUNK Films inc.).

Singing to Myself will make its PEI premiere at the Charlottetown Film Festival on October 29 at 7 pm.

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