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Island film premieres at Atlantic Film Festival

Lennie MacPherson in a scene from A Blessing from the Sea (photo: Emily O'Brien)A short film shot near Skinners Pond and Tignish using largely PEI talent and an Island script will premiere at FIN: the Atlantic International Film Festival in September. A Blessing from the Sea is directed by Adam Perry, written by Perry and Jason Arsenault and produced by Jenna MacMillan and Jason Arsenault.

The film tells the story of two Irish Moss farmers who come upon a boat full of cash at the shore. The pair initially think the money is a great blessing, but the discovery quickly takes their lives down an unexpected and tragic path.

The film stars Lennie MacPherson and features actors Bryde MacLean and Joel Thomas Hynes as well as appearances by Jonathan Torrens and singer songwriter Lennie Gallant. In contrast to his usual role as a folksinger, Gallant plays a thug whose only goal is to get his hands on the money.

A Blessing From the Sea originally began as an idea for a full length feature. The production team received a grant last August from The Harold Greenberg Fund to make a “proof of concept”—a shorter film to show that the larger idea has merit. Now that the short is finished and is gearing up for the festival circuit, the feature film version is back in development.

The film takes full advantage of the beauty of the sea and the rugged coastline in and around Skinners Pond. Perry says, as well as telling a good story, the team wanted to shine a light on a location and a lifestyle that is seldom seen outside the province. The film used a number of local people to help with locations and to provide an extremely patient horse.

The film also received support from The National Screen Institute, Innovation PEI, Island Media Arts Coop and Current Studios.

The world premiere will take place at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax on September 17 at 6:30 pm at the Park Lane Cineplex. The film will have its PEI premiere at the Charlottetown Film Festival on September 29, 7 pm at City Cinema.

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