James Ryan wants to see Cape Breton’s film industry revitalized and his enthusiasm is so infectious, he’s even managed to get his entire family involved.
Ryan, 36, of Inverness, graduated from the screen arts program at Nova Scotia Community College in 2003 and worked a few years in the industry in Halifax as a set electrician. Because of the unpredictable nature of the business, he eventually set up his own electrical company and moved back to Cape Breton.
But moving across the causeway didn’t mean he lost any interest in film. He became involved in setting up Inverness Film with a goal of training Inverness residents for possible future film jobs and whetting the appetites of those who might be interested in getting involved.
“I started the problem,” laughs Ryan. “Tom Ryan and Beth Ryan would be my father and my mother. And then there’s another Tom Ryan who would be my older brother so it’s a bit of a family dynasty of filmmakers now. And Mike Ryan is my first cousin. I used to play music with him for years, actually, before they were the Town Heroes.”
In the end, the Ryans co-directed and co-wrote “Bocan,” an 18-minutes film that combines several traditional ghost stories and altogether, about 30-40 people worked together to make the film that has now been chosen as part of the 2019 lineup for FIN Atlantic International Film Festival in Halifax next month. Filmed in 2018-19, “Bocan” is about two Cape Bretoners in 1988 speaking in Gaelic (with sub-titles), remembering strange events that occurred many years later, shown on screen in a series of flashbacks.
“Bocan” will screen on Sunday, Sept. 15, and Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the film festival and will qualify for awards consideration.
The first screening of “Bocan” filled the Inverness Arts Centre and Strathspey Performing Arts Centre to enthusiastic crowds and more screenings are being planned for the coming months.
Cape Breton Film was established in 2018 and was originally known as Inverness Film. It hopes to attract participants from across Cape Breton and can be reached at email@example.com.
- RELEASE DATE: May 2019
- GENRE: Drama, comedy, horror
- LENGTH: 19 minutes.
- LANGUAGE: Scottish Gaelic.
- STUDIO: Spectra 71 Films
- PRODUCED BY: Inverness Film Production
- PLOT OUTLINE: On a cold winter afternoon, Cathy and her nephew Angus share hot tea and tall tales surrounding the events that occured at a Cape Breton dance, one night in July... that still leaves them haunted 30 years later.
- ACTORS: Alice Freeman, Bearnard Cameron, Alasdair Cameron, Isaac Gallant, Emily Chisholm, Tessie Doyle, Leslie Smith and Rayvon Johnson.
- DIRECTED BY: Cindy O’Neill, Beth Ryan, James Ryan, Tom Ryan.
- SCREENPLAY BY: Cindy O’Neill, Beth Ryan, James Ryan, Tom Ryan.