By Rachel Woodward, September 22 2017 —
In addition to its international aspect, the Calgary International Film Festival also boasts an exploration of films created in Western Canada. One film sure to spark Calgary pride is Entanglement. The movie is directed by Vancouver’s Jason James and written by Southern Alberta Institute of Technology alumnus and Calgary-based screenwriter Jason Filiatrault. On Sept. 25, Filiatrault and James will attend a screening of the film.
Entanglement follows Ben, played by Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch. After a failed suicide attempt, he decides to find meaning in his life. He meets Hanna — played by Teeth’s Jess Weixler — who he discovers was adopted and given away by his parents, all before he was born.
Filiatrault says that the film plays with ideas of human connection and how strangers can bring meaning to our lives.
“It’s tied into the idea of quantum entanglement and that there are these very tiny subatomic particles that get created together and that have these bonds over vast distances,” he says. “There are people who affect our lives who are five or six people removed from us that we will never meet and never know, but something they do affects somebody else that makes somebody do something that day. These ripples sort of affect our community and our lives.”
Filiatrault adds that the writing process for Entanglement was more organic than his other work because of the collaborative nature of the filmmaking process. The role that the actors had in moulding the script to fit characterization and emotion evolved the film into a different final project than first envisioned. Filiatrault says he couldn’t be happier with the result.
“This was far more surprising and exploratory for me in that I had a shape of a story that I was interested in. Along the way, that changed a lot for me,” he says. “Elements got added to it and there’s a lot of magic realism in it and fantastical elements. As those started to crop up, they affected the story and they changed how things played out.”
Filiatrault says that James brought many ethereal images to the final screen, which moves the film away from the dark, brooding comedy that Filiatrault visualized.
Entanglement’s screening at Calgary Film is a homecoming. Filiatrault says he’s looking forward to bringing the mostly Vancouver-based production back to his domain and sharing it with the community he worked so closely with during his formative time as a screenwriter.