Short Cuts Canada Programme 3 selection, Hole, is a moving look at Billy, a disabled middle-aged-man searching for some intimacy in the world around him. Directed by Martin Edralin, the short is going to push the boundaries of some viewers, but it’s a moving message about the challenges that everybody may face. Toronto Film Scene had a chance to speak with Martin about the film, and about what he wants his body of work to explore.
Describe your film in 10 words or less.
It’s about sexuality, disability, loneliness, lust,…life! Slow, boring life.
What inspired you to make this film?
Ken Harrower and his gigantic pride flag! I met Ken (the lead actor who plays Billy) three years ago on a corporate video shoot. He rolled in with a huge pride flag at the back of his wheelchair. I was taken aback by this cheerful, gay, disabled man with a stutter who has no shame about who he is. It’s inspiring! He’s so outgoing, so independent and so comfortable in his skin that you don’t think of him as someone with a disability. He’s just a person like everybody else. That’s a long way of saying he made me think about disability and sexuality. It started there. But for me, the film is really about the monotony of life and how we really live for these tiny moments of human connection or experience that make the dull daily routines worth dragging through. Or maybe it’s just me.
What was the best thing about production? Most frustrating?
The best thing was the amazing group of people who worked on this film. From pre-production all the way through post, everyone was incredible. I’m really grateful for their time and talent. Believe it or not, I don’t recall feeling any frustration in making the film. I thought there was a very good chance that it would turn out pretty bad so I just went along with it without thinking too much.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your film?
It’s not for children.
Your film focuses on a disabled man searching for intimacy. Do you think this is an aspect we overlook too often for people with disabilities?
Absolutely. In general, I think we overlook what each one of us is going through. This is what I want to explore in my work. The personal fears, desires, hopes, shame, etc. that we keep from others and how we negotiate that internal self with our external world.
Your film is screening as part of TIFF — what are you most excited about seeing or doing at this year’s festival?
Two things. Ken will be watching it for the first time. He hasn’t seen any more than the trailer. I’m excited for him to have the experience of watching himself on the big screen, at TIFF, with an audience. The second is my family, who will also be seeing it for the first time. I made them wait for TIFF so that if they hate the movie or are offended by it, my hope is the audience will convince them that it has some artistic merit. We won a jury award at Locarno and we have a bunch of festivals lined up which helps. Either way, they’re proud of me and they’ve stopped hinting that I should get a real job.
Hole screens as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 3 at TIFF 2014. Check their website for more information.