Director and screenwriter Christopher McGruer’s latest short film Dance for James Dean will be screened in a special local preview and artist talk on August 15th. This will be the only showing in Owen Sound before it becomes unavailable during a year long festival tour. The Tom Thomson Gallery and The Owen Sound North Grey Union Public Library will co-present the evening of film and discussion in the Library Auditorium from 7-9 pm. Following an artist talk by the filmmaker, members of the cast and crew will be present for a Q&A session and reception.
In McGruer’s independent narrative film, a ballet dancer preparing for a role suffers a devastating leg injury that sends her into self destructive chaos. As she struggles with her own ambition and inner demons, she questions her identity and how to break free from her past.
Shot in Owen Sound using local cast and crew, the film features award-winning dancer and actor Jennifer MacKinnon. Ben Davidson, Owen Sound Little Theatre veteran, plays the role of her father. In addition to writing, directing, and producing Dance for James Dean, McGruer collaborated with Lauren Best to design sound for the film, featuring local talents Pete Devlin (guitar), Keira McArthur (cello), and Gary Harders (percussion).
McGruer’s first narrative short film, According to Valentine, was released in 2016. In his longstanding work with OSLT, McGruer directed Having Hope at Home (2017), a play nominated for five awards, including Outstanding Direction, in out-of-festival adjudication by the Western Ontario Drama League Festival. He is currently working with Carol Christie on a full-length screenplay based on her life in a polygamous Mormon cult that began in the 1970’s and continued until the incarceration of the cult leader. The full-length feature film Dance for James Dean, which continues and expands upon the story, will begin production in 2020.
Dance for James Dean: Film preview and artist talk by Christopher McGruer
August 15, 2019 from 7-9 pm at The Owen Sound North Grey Union Public Library ( 824 1st Ave West ) 519-376-6623
Tickets: $10 available in advance at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery ( 840 First Avenue West ) and The Owen Sound North Grey Union Public Library.