Local actor to walk red carpet at TIFF

It’s a starry start to the school year for Red Deer College Motion Picture Arts instructor and local actor Lori Ravensborg.

It’s a starry start to the school year for Red Deer College Motion Picture Arts instructor and local actor Lori Ravensborg.

A red-carpet experience at the Toronto International Film Festival awaits Ravensborg, who co-stars in the Alberta-made movie The Valley Below that premieres Sunday night at the renowned festival.

“It’s very exciting,” said Ravensborg, who auditioned for the film as a side project from her part-time acting instructor job at the college.

Although she’s selective about taking on roles that take her away from her husband and two young kids in Red Deer, Ravensborg said she jumped at the chance to be part of this independent movie because its story of life in Alberta’s badlands rang so true.

Now she’s thrilled The Valley Below, written and directed by Calgarian Kyle Thomas, will be spotlighted at TIFF.

“It’s a beautifully shot movie,” said Ravensborg, who feels “they did a fantastic job of capturing all the beautiful landscape and used natural lighting in the exterior shots. It’s just magnificent.”

Getting exposure at the world’s third-biggest film festival “is the yummy icing on the cake,” she added.

Ravensborg recalled the close-knit cast and crew shared high expectations for the project throughout filming in Drumheller in the latter part of 2013. When they finally saw a pre-screening, she said “it felt really great” that Thomas’s original vision for the project had survived the editing process “and come out the other side.”

The Valley Below is a drama that chronicles the lives of eight people in a small town over a year.

Ravensborg plays Susan, who’s married to a taxidermist named Gordon (Stephen Bogaert). Their plot line is “about marriage, loneliness and separation — emotionally speaking,” said Ravensborg, who added the emotional rift between the couple becomes apparent as their children start getting older and leaving home.

Like many long-wedded people, Susan and Gordon began disconnecting from each other at some point and don’t know how to get back what they once shared. “There’s a lot of weight and distance and walls between them.”

The coldness in their relationship is mirrored by the season in which their story unfolds — winter. But the film, produced by North Country Cinema (and also co-starring Calgary’s poet laureate Kris Demeanor as a hard-drinking musician), has different plot lines that unfold in the spring, summer and autumn.

Young lovers, a divorced dad and a police officer with a radio show also factor into the various story lines.

The Valley Below is also slated to be screened at film festivals in Calgary and Vancouver, and will hopefully get some kind of public showing at a later date, whether it’s in theatres, TV or through a movie provider such as Netflix. Ravensborg said this hasn’t been decided yet.

Although she revealed “the little girl inside” her will be indulged when she gets all glammed up for the red carpet at TIFF, this isn’t Ravensborg’s first film festival experience.

The Red Deer resident wrote, directed and produced her own half-hour film, The Long Road, about a family’s response to a dying matriarch. It won an AMPIA Award in 2013, as well as a Rising Star Award from the Canadian International Film Festival in Vancouver.


Just Posted

Red Deer man says more cardiac care needed here

Ryan Gillies spent several extra days in hospital waiting to get a stent in Edmonton

Red Deer gets ready for CFR 45

A $20 to $25-million annual injection to the local economy

Former Red Deer teacher going to trial on child porn charges

Charges were laid in January 2017 after a woman came forward

Red Deer agency reports more than 1,000 lives saved with naloxone

Turning Point distributes 5,855 naloxone kits

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month