1. Strong Son by Ian Bawa
2. Ste. Anne by Rhayne Vermette
3. PG: Psycho Goreman by Steven Kostanski
Strong Son is a four-minute autobiographical documentary starring Ian Bawa’s father, who seeks to give marital advice to his “bodybuilding and image-obsessed son.”
“The themes of my family and my dad are pretty much a key factor over the last number of years,” Bawa says. “He’s my drive to make things all the time.”
This was the last of three shorts Bawa made starring his father before his passing in 2020.
The first is called Trevor’s Turban and involves his father putting a turban on his Icelandic friend, Trevor. It was an interesting experience for Bawa, since he had the chance to delve into his cultural heritage without actually having to appear on camera in any way.
The second, titled Missing Toes, is a three-minute experimental doc of his father having the bandages on his feet changed.
“My dad is an amputee, and pieces of his feet are amputated because he was diabetic,” Bawa says. “It was a weird experimental doc about him getting his bandages changed and how he’s dealing with it.”
Strong Son was shot in only two hours using Super 8 film. The writing was a very loose script of things Bawa’s father used to say to him.
“It kind of blew up. It made it to a number of major film festivals, and it has actually, at this point, led me to make an adaptation of it into a feature,” Bawa says. “It kind of changed my life, and that is a little weird, because it is a film I need for me – and it became a film for everyone, because everyone could relate to it.”
Bawa attributes this sense of connection to vulnerability. He says that because he was ‘‘accidentally vulnerable” in making this film, it really connected with people.
Published in Volume 76, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 2, 2021)