‘Verona’ to premiere at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival

Star Kat Khan talks graduating in the pandemic and film production

Image supplied by: Supplied by Kat Khan
The coming-of-age story is set in a historic region of Ontario.

Verona is coming in hot at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival starting today. 

The feature film follows Camila Baron, played by Kat Khan, as her romantic and familial relationships experience turmoil in the aftermath of her grandfather’s passing. Named one of this year’s standout debuts by the festival, the artistic film is sure to give audiences a complex and sharp representation of what it means to teeter on the edge of adulthood. 

The film’s star, Kat Khan, sat down with The Journal to chat about their first major project and their transition from student-life to career. 

“When I got into acting conservatory (at York University), I was like okay, they only take 16 people and I’m one of them,” they said.

“This is the moment when I stopped feeling like I was floating around and more intentional with what I was specializing in.”

Filming for Verona began in summer of 2021 and while the crew stayed in Kingston for a duration of filming, the movie was produced in the South Frontenac hamlet it’s named after. 

“Camila is navigating her identity and self, and while doing so, she really sabotages her relationships,” Khan said of her character in the film.

“Specifically, the one with her girlfriend, Mackenzie. Though it’s really about how, in the midst of internal chaos, we can affect the relationships around us or also just the world around us.”

The film’s honesty comes from the very humane and mundane stories being told in a fascinating manner, which paves the way for a variety of voices and relationships to be presented by director and creator Sebastian Black. 

Khan commended Black for his fluid approach to filmmaking in which he allows actors to take on their characters and make them their own. 

“It was such a privilege to get to really live this character. Sebastian is one of those directors who would get us as close to ourselves and then allow us to be who we are first and then merge with the characters.”

The film takes place in the heat of the summer in a tiny town where the characters and relationships between them create a cinematic universe accurate and honest in its portrayal of people.

“It’s my dream to lead an A24 film, though less specifically, I want to continue to tell stories in an honest way, in a way that 14-year-old me would love to see,” Kahn said.

When asked for advice for aspiring actors, Khan recognized the privilege required to put 100 per cent effort—both physically and mentally—into an acting career, but left The Journal with some words of wisdom all the same. 

“Not being afraid to think about your life and career before finishing [my degree] is what really helped me,” Kahn said. 

“I would go see plays, see a lot of work, talk to mentors, spend extra hours in the studio. Getting experience with the industry as soon as possible really helped me because by the time I graduated, I felt like I had done a lot of these things.”

Though Verona is sold out for this weekend’s show, students and community members alike should keep an eye out for this sure-to-be Canadian cult classic.


coming of age, Film, indie, KCFF

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