Favourite local filmmaker

Solmund MacPherson

Solmund MacPherson only began making films professionally in 2015, but the young artist has clearly made a name for themself.

In those two years, MacPherson has worked as some combination of director, producer and writer on 11 short films and directed the entire third season of Shaw TV’s series Millworth. They also work in a variety of other technical positions.

MacPherson says their interest in film arose out of a childhood spent around theatre.

“My parents both work in theatre,” MacPherson says, “so I’ve been exposed to that world since I was very young. When I was 12 or 13, my dad and I made a film together through an ACTRA member initiative program. I found I liked making the movie more than I liked acting in it.”

In 2016, MacPherson and creative partner Allegra Chiarella won the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition at the Gimli Film Festival, which awarded the pair $10,000 to make their short The Debut.

“As far as filmmakers (in the contest), there were some heavy-hitters there,” Macpherson says. “We were totally the underdogs in that situation.”

MacPherson’s connection to theatre is evident in their work. Ivory Tower and Millworth both explore high-school theatre, while The Debut, Crime of Passion and Anaphylactic Rage all focus on film acting or musical performance in some way.

“I think everybody is always performing all the time,” MacPherson says. “I’m interested in seeing people try to keep up their performance in situations where it’s difficult.”

In addition to developing their first feature script together, MacPherson says their upcoming projects with Chiarella will be more experimental in nature, making performance part of form as well as content.

“Allegra’s really into expanded cinema,” they say. “We’re working on stuff that won’t be online. It’ll happen, and then it’ll be gone forever. Keep an eye out for it, because it’ll be done once it’s done!”

See more from Solmund MacPherson at solmund.com

Published in Volume 72, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2017)

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