The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Locally-produced film The Hunt for Butterflies dwells on life after love

By in Culture
Alyssa Bennett and Jordan Bzdel looking blue.

It being the Valentine’s season, it’s the perfect time to talk about romantic movies. And this being the Sheaf, why not talk about one being filmed right here in Saskatoon?

Director Paul Clint Panko is hard at work right now on a locally-produced movie shot on campus. The film, entitled The Hunt for Butterflies, is a short film that on the surface is about a young man trying to recover after a breakup.

OK, so it’s not really a “romantic movie,” but I can still talk about it!

The story follows the main character as he tries to get back to being the person he was before the relationship, and as anyone with a bad breakup in their past can tell you, this is no easy task. The other side of the story is that he finds himself constantly haunted by the ghost of his girlfriend.

What does this mean? Is his girlfriend dead? Is it just the lingering memory of her?

“It’s ambiguous, up to interpretation,” said Panko.

For the young director, the intention behind the movie is to teach people how to be themselves as individuals.

“I think something our generation is afraid of is being alone. We’re taught that we have to couple up and I think a lot of people tie their self-esteem to who they’re dating.”

Panko said he wants to inspire change in people, or at least self-awareness.

“It’s a children’s book on how to love yourself,” he says.

The short film is a personal project being funded by those involved — completely non-profit. Panko, having studied film production in Halifax, makes his movies for fun and exploration while he gets his education degree and works on commercials with his production company PCP Productions. He says the film industry is tough in Saskatchewan.

“It’s growing, but it’s not very accessible for new filmmakers.”

Worst of all, he feels that it’s “hard to create” as big studios are more concerned about profit.

The Hunt for Butterflies has been shot partially on campus in the Biology Building and partially at a privately owned home. Panko wanted to use a controlled space to keep the shooting simple.

The film stars Alyssa Bennet, who is a graduate of the U of S drama program, as well as Jordan Bzdel, who is currently a senior in the department. It also features Colleen Smith and Naila Kuhlmann, both students at the university.

The film is expected to premiere in the fall of 2012 and will hopefully be shown at the Broadway or Roxy Theatre.

[box type=”info”]Cast & Crew:

Directed by Paul Clint Panko
Screenplay by Paul Clint Panko and Cara Warnar, based off a story by Paul Clint Panko
Starring Jordan Bzdel and Alyssa Bennett
Co-Starring Colleen Smith and Naila Kuhlmann
Camera Operator: Blair Woynarski
Lights: Paul Clint Panko, Blair Woynarski and Torien Cafferata
Script Supervisor: Cara Warnar
Assistant to the Director: Torien Cafferata
Makeup: Caty Williams[/box]

Photo: Supplied

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