An award-winning film by a writer and director with Red Deer roots will open Reel Movie Mondays fall season.
Before I Change My Mind will open the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery’s Reel Movie Mondays on Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Carnival Cinemas. The feature film was written and directed by Trevor Anderson, who was born, raised and educated in Red Deer before moving to Edmonton, then Toronto, which he now calls home.
Anderson describes himself as a “writer-director and former video store clerk,” in a news release announcing the film’s local debut.
He has received numerous awards for his short films, including the Lindalee Tracey Award, 2007, from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, Jury Award for Best Short Film, 2009, from Pink Apple Film Festival in Zurich, Switzerland, Best Documentary Short, 2015, from Scruffy City Film and Music Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Last year, the talented writer-director was named one of “25 Influential Alberta Artists” of the last 25 years by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Before I Change My Mind is Anderson’s first feature-length film.
The script for Before I Change My Mind was named to the GLAAD List at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The film went on to make its world premiere at the 75th Locarno Film Festival in competition as part of Concorso Cineasti del presente (Filmmakers of the Present) in August 2022. It has since gone on to screen around the world, from Gimli, Manitoba to Oslo, Norway, and now it is returning home with the MAG’s Red Deer screening.
Before I Change My Mind boasts a “soft and transportive ’80s aesthetic” while the film “seems determined to confront the challenges and triumphs of self-becoming with the unwavering honesty of someone who remembers them both,” says the release.
While the other students wonder if their new classmate is a boy or a girl, Robin forges a complicated bond with the school bully, making increasingly dangerous choices to fit in. Shot from an innovative screenplay, no gendered pronouns are used to describe Robin throughout the film.
“When I was a teenager in Canada in the 1980s, I was often asked, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?ʼ,” says Anderson. “I wish I couldʼve let that question hang in the air unanswered, like Robin does in the film.”
The film stars newcomer Vaughan Murrae (“Robin”), alongside Dominic Lippa (“Carter”), Matthew Rankin (“Daniel”), Shannon Blanchet (“Annie”), and local youth Lacey Oake as “Izzy”, who some may know from her Cornerstone Youth Theatre performances. Eagle-eyed viewers will also take note of the nostalgic ‘green onion’ water tower visible in some of the scenes, as the film was partially shot in Red Deer.
Tickets for the film are available for purchase online, over-the-phone, or in person at the MAG in advance of the film’s screening. Ticket packages to the fall 2023 season of Reel Movie Mondays can be purchased up until 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 2.
Other films screening this fall include The Eight Mountains on Oct. 16, Showing Up on Oct. 30, Twice Colonized on Nov. 13, and Jules on Nov. 27.
For more information on films screening as part of Reel Movie Mondays or to purchase tickets, go to reddeermuseum.com/rmm/