An expectant young woman travels the rocky terrain of her memory and confronts her own heartbreaking example of motherhood.

Creative team

Co-writers/producers: Julie Sype, Mike Tyrell
Director: Philip Riccio

Filmmaker’s statement

“I was approached by actor/producers Julie Sype and Mike Tyrell to direct a short film based on Julie’s beautiful and emotionally raw poem Family Swim.

In its essence it examines a moment in time when a woman who lost her mother as a child finds out definitively that she is about to become one.

As a man without children, I wasn’t exactly the obvious choice to direct a piece about motherhood but I am certainly grateful I was asked.

Coming from the theatre, most of my experiences focused intensely on text and story but Mike and Julie challenged me to make a film that was more a visual poem than a traditional narrative film.

We did work to create a clear structure that the viewer could follow but, within that, the focus was to visually represent Julie’s more abstract and layered poetry.

Important memories, the ones charged with emotion and especially the ones from childhood, don’t exist within us as organized thoughts – they are fragments, pieces that either soothe or attack us randomly and without pattern.

We wanted the film to encapsulate the complex emotions and power of our memories as they swarm us during our life’s most critical moments.

Along with Mike and Julie, I was surrounded by an extremely talented group of collaborators including cinematographer Ian Anderson, editor Brigitte Rabazo, composer Tim Thorney and many others.”

About Philip Riccio

Philip Riccio

Philip is an actor, director and producer.

In 2005, along with Allan Hawco, Philip founded The Company Theatre. Over the last nine years The Company Theatre has produced award-winning productions in Toronto and across Canada.

Philip wrote and directed the short film The Reception starring Nicholas Campbell and Martha Burns.

He most recently directed an episode of the TMN series Reelside featuring legendary film director George A. Romero.

Leave a comment