SWIFF commissions film for ‘Sarnia on Screen’

SWIFF 2020/Imperial Marquee. Photo courtesy of SWIFF via Facebook.

A local short film, focused on the challenges of single motherhood, will premiere on opening night of the upcoming South Western International Film Festival (SWIFF).

‘Sarnia on Screen’ has commissioned an original fiction movie titled Petrolia, directed by Carly Balestreri who is a recent film graduate from York University.

She is being provided with up to $15,000 to make her idea come to fruition.

Project Manager Adam Cook said Balestreri’s proposal stood out among the 16 submissions, aimed at highlighting life in Sarnia-Lambton.

“Something about Carly’s idea really struck us, which was that it was a personal movie,” said Cook. “We didn’t really expect to receive something that had such a unique and personal vision. It actually stars her older sister and her older sister’s real two young twin children. It’s a story about single motherhood. The challenges and the fulfilment that comes with motherhood.”

Cook said the film is in the works, and has to be completed by October 21.

In a news release, Balestreri said she’s excited for the opportunity.

“I’m so grateful to be given the chance to set a film in this community,” she said. “The people and geography of this place are unlike anything I’ve seen and I can’t wait to share them with the world.”

SWIFF’s opening night gala is scheduled for November 3 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

The eighth annual event will run until November 6.

With files from Natalia Vega