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‘We don’t have to fit in these boxes’: Giant Little Ones creator shuns labels in new film

This article was posted original on SooToday on by: James Hopkin, rereposted with permission.


Writer and director Keith Behrman was on hand for the screening of his film Giant Little Ones during the Shadows of the Mind gala at the Sault Community Theatre Centre Saturday night. The film was shot in Sault Ste. Marie in 2017. James Hopkin/SooToday

Writer and director Keith Behrman was happy to be back in Sault Ste. Marie Saturday night, where his film, Giant Little Ones, was screening as part of the Shadows of the Mind Film Festival gala.

“It’s great to be back here and screening the film here in Sault Ste. Marie, because we did have a really special time making the film here,” Behrman told reporters before the screening of Giant Little Ones at the Sault Community Theatre Centre. “Everyone was so helpful and co-operative and supportive, so it feels really nice to be back here and sharing the film with people here.”

Behrman says his film — shot in Sault Ste. Marie in the summer of 2017 — is a tale involving three high school boys that came to him in a dream about five years ago.

“I realized I wanted to make a film that was about love and about family, and about acceptance, and just being true to yourself,” he said.

Behrman and producer Allison Black chose to shoot the film in Sault Ste. Marie in July 2017 in order to give the film the backdrop Behrman felt it needed.


“I always knew I wanted to be outside, and I wanted it to be in a sunny, warm environment,” Behrman said. “I wanted them to be moving around the streets, riding their bikes — a very open, energetic kind of thing — so I wanted to be some place where there’s a lot of greenery.”

Behrman says that his conservative, prairie town upbringing in Shaunavon, Sask., ultimately helped mould Giant Little Ones.

“I was always very uncomfortable with the very hard lines around masculinity and what it meant to be a man,” Behrman said. “It felt very restrictive, so as I grew up, I always just kind of struggled with that.”

“When I was ready to make this film, that was one of the things that I wanted to express — you know, the hard definitions we have around who we are, and the labels we have for ourselves, and the labels we have for everybody else, and the way we’re supposed to be,” he continued. “Human beings are way more complex than that, way more nuanced and layered.”

So far, Behrman’s film — starring Maria Bello and Kyle MacLachlan — has premiered all over the world, including at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In addition to the film-festival circuit, Phillips’ film has been screened commercially in Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

Additional screenings are being considered in Calgary and on the East Coast, he said.

The Shadows of the Mind Film Festival is organized by a coalition of local agencies. It offers films that touch on the facts and mythologies surrounding mental health and addictions.

For full information about the festival, click on the SooToday logo at the top left of this screen and them click on the Shadows of the Mind link.

In a surprise development, organizers announced Saturday night that they’re adding a second screening of Julien Temple’s Pandaemonium, which was shown in connection with a gala opening on Thursday night.

The second screening will be 7 p.m. Sunday at the Galaxy Cinemas.

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