Weekend film project to show at KCFF

Writer/director Jonny Klynkramer drew from his experience at a meditation course in northern India

Klynkramer spent spent his third year studying in Mumbai, India.
Klynkramer spent spent his third year studying in Mumbai, India.

Travelling and self-exploration can lead to artistic inspiration.

That’s how Jonathan Klynkramer, ArtSci ’14, describes the idea for the script that won his short film The Path “Best Picture” and “Best Editing” awards at the 2014 Focus Film Festival. It will be shown next month at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival.

The Focus Film Festival is a Queen’s-based event that allows students from all faculties to cultivate their filmmaking talent and learn from each other.

Students are divided into teams of five and given a previously unreleased topic on which to make a film.

“It’s really intense and exciting,” he said.

Random groups are assigned Thursday night with a deadline of midnight on Sunday.

“The theme for this year was seven virtues and seven vices, and we were assigned to make a film on the virtue of temperance,” he said.

Following the film’s debut at Focus, the group submitted it to the Kingston Canadian Film Festival as a local short. It will play before the feature length film The Pin.

Klynkramer said he felt a bit alienated at first when he was assigned to a random group for Focus. He spent the previous academic year on exchange in India and, unlike many other students, had not participated in the Festival the year before.

“We gelled very well though, and my trip to India helped me come up with the element of meditation in the film,” he said.

“I took a meditation course in India towards the end of my trip. I had prayer mats and shawls lying around and I wrote the script with input from the group. It matched the theme of temperance and we were all contemplating going with some kind of American horror story initially.”

Directed by Klynkramer, The Path is a five-minute story about the journey of a wandering woman in search of happiness, played by Chelsea Marie O’Hara, ArtSci ’14. She is guided by a master, and has to ignore the seduction of a temptress on her journey.

The rest of the team was made up of fellow Queen’s students Chantelle Ng, ArtSci ’14, Hilary Smith, ArtSci ’14, Malcolm McKenzie, ArtSci ’17.

Klynkramer picked a location he was familiar with.

“It was shot at my grandparents’ house just outside of Kingston. They have a cabin in the woods near the lake. I wanted to use that as a location in the film for a while so we wrote the script with all that in mind,” Klynkramer said.

He said that teamwork was key in making the short film.

“Having a director who has a vision is essential. But it’s important to accept input from everyone in the group and to learn from each other,” he said.

Klynkramer said that whether someone has film experience or not, Focus Film Festival is a worthwhile experience.

“My advice to aspiring filmmakers is that they shouldn’t limit themselves to just class projects. Go out, make things on your own, and produce work. Whether it’s good or bad, it doesn’t matter. You learn from everything you work on,” he said.

The Path will be shown Mar. 1 at the Baby Grand and Mar. 2 at the Screening Room before feature length entry The Pin.

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