Brian is 11 years old and failing socially in his neighbourhood.
In 1977, being slightly on the autistic spectrum just means you’re weird and a target. He is repeatedly beat up and abused by a bully. Meanwhile his mother, Helen, doesn’t fit into her role of housewife and mother either as she struggles with the stresses of being at home and raising three kids completely on her own.
As the two stories come together, Helen finds herself by helping her son stand up for himself in the only way that makes sense to her. Regardless of what ‘proper’ society thinks of it.
Writer/director: Michael Clowater
Producer: Jessica Miller
I’ve always been attracted to stories about loneliness (embracing it or fighting it). And I definitely saw these two main characters as outsiders as I was writing it.
It’s loosely based on events in my own life and so I wanted to set it in the 70’s. It wasn’t just a stylistic choice but I wanted to create a world where kids had more room without adults and larger ‘in between’ spaces where they were left alone. If you were the type of kid that had a hard time navigating that, life could be a bit tough.
To me, this story isn’t about bullying, but rather about figuring out a way to stand up for yourself. And I wanted both Helen and Brian to have that struggle. I took a lot of inspiration from films that I grew up with as well, like E.T. and The Bad News Bears.
I hope you like it.
About Michael Clowater
Michael Clowater is a New Brunswick-born filmmaker. This is his first live-action short dramatic film.
His first animated short film (Alfred’s New Dog) played at TIFF Kids Film Festival (formally Sprockets) as well as Interfilm (Berlin), the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival (Toronto), the marketplace at Clermont Ferrand and was showcased at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in NYC as part of an exhibit on independent children’s films.
Michael’s TV commercial work has won creative awards worldwide (including at Cannes) and has been written about in such publications/media as CBC, Adweek and The Guardian.
He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife, two sons and a gecko named Michaelangelo.