Pictured (from left to right): Actors Manuel Rodriguez
After making its way around the globe, the independent film A Brand New You will be premiering in Hemmingford on June 18th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hemmingford Recreation Centre. The dark comedy has been presented at nine film festivals to date, garnering two best feature awards and one for best comedy. Local Freya Ravensbergen both produced and acted in the film.
The transition from farm girl to a filmmaker was a natural one for Hemmingford native Freya Ravensbergen. Born to a documentary filmmaker father and a teacher mother, Ravensbergen knew that she would work in film from a young age. Inspired largely by the late Vince Irifino to join the local Hemmingford ShoeString Theatre when she was a youngster, Ravensbergen later enrolled in the Professional Theatre program at Dawson Cegep in Montreal, polishing off her education at Concordia University.
A seasoned actress, Ravensbergen is also a producer, which is how she came to both produce and act in the film A Brand New You, which is a dark but romantic comedy with a Frankenstein twist, where a widower (Clinton Lee Pontes) attempts to clone his dead wife. The production company, Dangerous Dust Productions, filmed the independent film in just 12 days, using a micro-budget of only $20,000 under directors Shawn Whitney and Kathryn Palmateer. “What’s great about the film is that it is honest,” says Ravensbergen. “You see characters that you don’t normally see in movies…ones that are more like real people.” The Toronto resident was attracted to the role because of the film’s originality—she also felt that she could relate to the character—which was a coincidence, because the role was actually written for her by fellow producer and writer Shawn Whitney. She stars alongside Manuel Rodriguez and Clinton Lee Pontes (who also happens to be Ravensbergen’s real-life husband).
Her success is inspirational, especially for those looking to break into the film trade—one of the most competitive industries in the world. So what’s the secret to her success? “Tell a unique story,’ says Ravensbergen. ‘Don’t do what others have done, and tell the truth. Then you’re set…it’s all about the story that you have to tell. And don’t give up.”
Next up for Dangerous Dust Productions? They’re currently shooting a film that addresses issues that sex trade workers in Toronto are currently facing as a result of Bill C-36. The film is set to premiere on July 13th, 2014.
For more information, visit www.dangerousdustproductions.com or www.freyaravensbergen.com.