The award winning short “Touch,” starring Kristen Pellerin of Republic of Doyle, is competing in CBC’s 2017 Short Film FaceOff. The film will be screened and judged on the show’s July 22nd episode.
“Any filmmaker wants their work to be seen by the widest possible audience and the fact that the jury at CBC picked ‘Touch’ as one of nine short films from all across Canada makes me really happy,” said writer and director Noel Harris. “Our crew and cast worked very hard on the film, so it’s very satisfying to have such a large Canadian audience see the film.”
The Short Film FaceOff is a reality TV style competition where nine Canadian short films are screened and discussed by a panel of judges over the course of three episodes. The judges reveal their selection of the top three films on the third episode and then television audiences have 24 hours to vote online or by phone to choose the winner.
The winning filmmaker receives a cash prize to be used toward their next film, which will be licensed for broadcast on CBC. Last year “Moving On” by Newfoundland filmmaker Mike Fardy took home the prize.
“We have a very strong storytelling culture in our community and I’m blessed to be a part of it, we’re storytelling people. I think ‘Touch’ was written by our province, I just take what I see around me and put it on the page,” said Harris.
“Touch” had its Canadian premiere at the Nickel Independent Film Festival here in St. John’s in June of 2016. Since then it has been screening internationally and raking in awards. Among other awards, the film won Best Narrative Short at the Directors Circle Festival of Shorts in the United States, and the Jury Choice Award at the Diversity Cannes Short Film Showcase in France.
Pellerin has been receiving critical acclaim for her performance in the film and was named Best Actress at the Henley Film Festival in the UK.
“Kristen Pellerin’s character carries the emotional weight of the film, all the emotion the audience feels goes through her character. She absolutely inhabited her character and brought it to life, I think all the actors did,” Harris said.
In “Touch” Pellerin plays a single mother of two young children who is desperately trying to make ends meet. When she is offered an overnight cleaning shift an hour before it begins, she scrambles to find a babysitter, and ends up having to ask someone she would rather not.
“Our humanity always wins, no matter how tough life is on us, our humanity will always come to the forefront and that’s the foundation the film is built on,” Harris said. “You can kick us, you can keep us down…but when it comes down to it we’ll make the ultimate sacrifice for family and the people we love, that’s what the film is about.”