Stephenville during time of crisis being shown on big screen

Published on June 16, 2017

A behind the scenes look as the crew of College of the North Atlantic’s Digital Filmmaking Program film a scene from “Off Course,” in front of Stephenville airport.

©Submitted photo

College of the North Atlantic’s Digital Filmmaking Program is honouring the involvement of Stephenville and the provincial college during the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks by producing the intersession film, “Off Course.”  

The film, directed by John Mckinnon, was written by Sarah Yetman, Ryan Snook, and Ben Cheeks, and is being shot by a crew of first year students, according to a prepared released from the filmmaking program.
It stars Michael Fenwick, Trevor Stagg, Toshon Dawe and Leah Dawn Hiscock.
The film follows the story of Garrett Thompson, a U.S. politician with a far right wing philosophy. Thompson finds himself stranded in Stephenville during 9/11 and starts meeting people who make him question his political and personal views.
When he finds out who was responsible for the attacks he is forced to make some difficult decisions.
College of the North Atlantic’s Digital Filmmaking Program strives to celebrate Newfoundland culture through telling stories that may otherwise have been lost.
“Every year we find a story from the Newfoundland and Labrador history books, our students then develop a screenplay around the idea through research with the community and produce a short film,”, Peter Buckle, instructor said.
He said students design all aspects, from locations and sets to shots and lighting, from there they edit the film within three weeks and at the end of the semester present the film to an audience at the Arts and Culture Centre.
Director John Mckinnon, an independent filmmaker, realizes how important the intersession films are to encouraging the students how to learn and grow as filmmakers.
Trevor Stagg said working on this film was truly enjoyable and as an amateur performer, it was fascinating to see the intricate work that goes on in producing a movie of this type.
“Off Course” premieres June 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre. The evening will include a behind the scenes look at the making of the film, as well as a documentary on 9/11 and Newfoundland and Labrador’s involvement.