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Eleven-year-old Red Deerian pens a script for the one-minute film festival

Erica Mullakady wrote ’Perspective,’ which will be screened next month
Eleven-year-old Erica Mullakady (on right) is shown with cast and crew from the short film the she helped create in Red Deer. ‘Perspective’ will be screened next month in the FAVA Gotta Minute Film Festival and shown on transit and library screens in Edmonton and Calgary. (Contributed photo).

Eleven-year-old Erica Mullakady had a class spare, so she wrote a screenplay on a napkin.

The result is Perspective, a short film that will be shown on LRT and library screens in Edmonton and Calgary — as well as this year’s Fava Gotta Minute Film Festival.

It’s Western Canada’s first film fest for commuters, presented by the Pattison Group digital advertising company and FAVA TV, a streaming distribution platform.

Mullakady’s film, Perspective was among the one-minute films selected to appear on digital screens that will light up with a program of one-minute long silent films from around the world, every five minutes.

Perpective tells a story about how actions can be misinterpreted, and was directed by Erica’s father, Ranjit Mullakady.

Last winter, the local filmmaker had suggested to Erica, in an off-the-cuff way, that she consider writing a short script that he could turn it into a film for the Gotta Minute Film Festival.

Ranjit recalled his daughter was in the midst of writing a whole novel at the time, so he suggested a one-minute script shouldn’t be a big deal.

Erica initially responded that the two are not the same, recalled her mother, Tanya. But after giving the project some thought, she ended up jotting down the outline of a short script on a napkin at her Gateway Christian School (where she will soon enter Grade 6), during a class spare.

“She is a good writer. I left it in her hands,” said Ranjit, who was impressed with what she came up with. He later did some “tweaking” of the concept and filmed the project in the city last February.

Local actor Lacey Oake plays a deaf girl, who decides to spontaneously run out and get a flower to surprise her mom on her birthday. Difficulties arise when her mother (played by Roxzane Armstrong) uncovers a bed full of pillows and worries about her daughter’s sudden disappearance. The flower shop ladies also wonder why the girl doesn’t respond to them.

The film uses sign language to resolve both mysteries in the end, said Tanya.

Ranjit said the original film was eight minutes, so cutting it down to a minute was a struggle. But he believes the one-minute version retains all the essential elements.

He commends Erica for being good at thinking “out-of-the box.”

Before film festival (which starts Sept. 5) announces its winners on Sept. 18, Albertans will get able to vote for the Audience Choice selection. Ranjit said more voting information will be a available on the website next month.

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