Local filmmaker Lori Ravensborg is off to Vancouver for the Canada International Film Festival to receive a special honour.
She was notified that The Long Road, which she wrote, produced, and directed is set to receive a Rising Star Award in the short film category at the Festival’s closing night Awards Gala. The Festival runs April 5-6.
“I feel thrilled that it is still garnering some recognition – I think the fact that it is a human story based on a family’s emotional time makes it connect with people,” she explains. “We’ve all felt pain and grief and somehow have to learn to navigate through. I know there are many films that are ‘slicker’ and have great special effects and the like but The Long Road has heart, delivered by some fine actors.”
The film tackles tough subject matter about the choices people have to face at the end of life and how those choices bring families together and pull them apart.
The story focuses on an Alberta farmer who tragically loses his wife of 41 years.
When the adult children reassemble at their family acreage, they bring not only their grief but their emotional baggage as well.
Ravensborg’s cast and crew consisted of long-time professionals in the industry like cinematographer Don Armstrong, actors John Treleaven and Kim Faires as well as production manager James Wilson. She also worked with newer professional actors Shannon Strumecki, Rob Hay, Tamara Werden and Rivera Reese.
Emmy-nominated casting director Rhonda Fisekci also jumped onboard after reading the script.
“The work was very emotional and difficult in nature,” said Ravensborg. “I am very proud of this work and so happy with the outcome.”
The film was also an official selection at the Oceanside International Film Festival in August of last year in Oceanside, California.
As for future projects, Ravensborg said she definitely got ‘the directing bug’ through the meaningful experience of bringing The Long Road to fruition.
“I never thought I would love something as much as I love acting, but I do,” she explains. “In a way it’s taking the love of teaching – the thrill of seeing actors connect and feeling the energy travel – to a greater level.
“I also am a bit of a control freak so it was nice to be at the helm of the ship. I have one script in process and another idea floating in my head but I’ve been busy this year teaching, raising my babes as well as the occasional audition,” she said.
Meanwhile, The Long Road is in submission process for the AMPIA awards – Best Dramatic Narrative (under 30 minutes), Best Director, Best Cinematographer – Don Armstrong and Best Performance by an Alberta Actor (John Treleaven).
“Notification is in a few weeks so I hope for something to come from that. I also hope for it to screen again in Red Deer sometime.”
These days, in spite of her busy schedule, Ravensborg is committed to maintaining a constant creative output.
“It is very easy to allow the flame of your creativity to be put out with the realities of daily life,” she said. “Jobs and family details and raising kids and paying bills.
“It was so important to see that project through from beginning to end, to feel my creative power and see it make something beautiful. It is imperative to the truth of who I am. It pushes me to never give up, never forget and believe in myself. I wish that kind of experience for everyone.”