Left to right: Chris Cowden, John Rhys-Davies, Patty Srisuwan, and Sam Gittins at the press conference for Moments in Spacetime.
A wave of excitement brought along by the shooting of the film Moments in Spacetime in Cold Lake reached its zenith yesterday, as actors John Rhys-Davies, Sam Gittins, director and writer Chris Cowden, and producer and star Patty Srisuwan, divulged details on the film and allowed residents to ask the cast questions about their experience.
Rhys-Davies whose acted in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Indiana Jones films, and James Bond film The Living Daylights, spoke glowingly about the film and the Lakeland area.
“My manager called me up and said ‘I have just read a great script. I have read it three times.’ I said ‘good God you don’t normally read a script to beginning to end anyway.’ He said no, ‘great script, great story, a great part for you,’ and it went from there,” said Rhys-Davies.
He plays Patty Srisuwan’s grandfather in the film who suffers from dementia, a disease well-known to the veteran Welsh actor, as his first wife lived with the disease for decades.
They build an unlikely relationship while Srisuwan’s character Macie, who reconciles her experience living in two drastically different cultures.
“Patty, who shares most of my scenes with me, she is wonderful. She is a very very good actress. She takes risks – the right sort of risks to take.
“Chris [Cowden], I think, is one of the smartest and brightest young directors I’ve worked with in a very long time. He is a very good writer. The script is very good. He’s a remarkably good director.
“If you’ve got a spare $50 bill, I’d put that on him being one of the leading Canadian directors in a few years time He’s going to be one of the ornaments and jewels of your industry,” said Rhys-Davies.
“I think it’s going to be a good film and I think you’re going to enjoy it. I’m awfully glad I had the chance to do it.”
The film tackles difficult subjects like dementia – an area writer Chris Cowden has first-hand knowledge of as well – and identity and immigration as well.
Actor Sam Gittins, Eastenders and Await Further Instructions, plays a British fighter pilot posted on the air base in Cold Lake when he meets Macie.
“He’s quite a confident, almost like a jokey guy, with his friends. He meets the character Macie and it kind of changes his outlook on what he wants in life and he tries to grip this little window of time he has with her,” said Gittins.
“It’s a drama and there’s so much going on and he sees that. He’s desperate to be involved in her life. I think he loves her.”
Gittins said as soon as he read the script he wanted the role badly.
“The script and the film and the way they’re approaching is accentuating the fact that they love this place and there’s a lot here to be proud of.
“I’m really excited to explore the intensity and how that builds incredibly quickly with Macy and I’m really excited to explore where that goes. I’m really excited to see how the character feels at the end if that makes sense. I have an idea in my head but you never know till you’ve done it all and bounced off the other actors,” said Gittins.
Gittins just arrived in Cold Lake to shoot his scenes while Rhys-Davies is on his way out of the Lakeland.
Another week of shooting is expected.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Cold Lake city council gave $10,000 to help the film’s production and will work on an incentive program to try and attract more films to be shot in the city.