The Swimming Lesson

A swimming coach teaches her pupil tips to help make it to the Olympics. 90-year-old Winnipeg actress and former swimming teacher, Doreen Brownstone, stars.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Ti Hallas

Filmmaker’s statement

Ti Hallas says:

“I’ve been an actor for many years and have directed theatre for the stage but The Swimming Lesson is my first foray into directing for film.

Winnipeg summers are far too short but they are usually incredibly beautiful. I am lucky to have a small pool in our back yard and I love to swim. The idea for The Swimming Lesson was born last summer (2012) when I saw something under water that I just had to share on film!

ACTRA MB (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), of which I have been a member for 25 years, had recently announced a new category in the annual member initiated production (MIP) film festival – the one shot. The challenge was to produce a short film with no edits in the action of the film. I decided to give it a ‘shot.’

My dear friend, the amazing Doreen Brownstone, aged 90 at the time of filming, was keen to work with me. She plays the swimming teacher in the film. The scheduled shoot day was a quintessentially gorgeous summer day with a beautiful blue sky to frame Doreen.

My son, Stuart Paisley, was my cameraman. He devised a very simple but effective way to shoot the underwater section at the end of the film, keeping the action continuous. His flair in the shooting and editing of the closing credits added an extra splash of fun to the film!”

About Ti Hallas


Ti has worked as an actor, director, teacher, playwright, general manager, stage manager and tour coordinator since 1978.

She co-founded Chinook Theatre which toured BC, Alberta, Yukon and the NWT and was the founding company of Canada’s first Fringe Theatre Festival in Edmonton. Her career took her to Ontario where she taught acting and voice at Laurentian University and drama, dance and English for the Toronto District School Board.

Since returning to her hometown of Winnipeg 11 years ago she’s taught drama and English for the St James-Assiniboia School Board and performed onstage and in numerous independent films. She is a proud member of ACTRA and CAEA.


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