Kitchissippi Times – Movie Star in the Making

Movie Star in the Making
Feature length film first for Westboro Actor

By Marah Shields,  Kitchissippi Times,
February 28/2013

Westboro actor Richard Gelinas holds a major role in the movie Thirteen Downs, which screened at the new Algonquin Commons Theatre on February 23.

The movie was one of two locally produced films screened by Treepot Media to celebrate independent Ottawa filmmakers.

Though Gelina’s career consists primarily of theatre work, this is not his first taste of filming.  It is, however, the longest film either he or Ottawa-based writer/director Karim Ayari has undertaken.

The 98-minute feature, Thirteen Downs was originally released in August 2012 at the 3rd annual Ottawa International Film festival.

Gelinas had qorked with Ayari a handful of time before in the local independent film scene, but only on shorts.

“It was during the Summer that we filmed The Interview together, Karim said ‘so I’m putting a feature together and I might have some part for you,’ ” recalls Gelinas.  ”Turns out it was a pretty big part.”

Source: Kichissippi Times

Thirteen Downs stars other Ottawa-based actors Sophia Radisch and Ron Tarrant.  The movie takes place over a single day, set mainly in Tarrant’s character Dan’s house in the woods.  The story revolves around the odd friendship that develops between Radisch’s character, a 13-year-old girl named Lily, and the elderly Dan.

When Dan’s estranged son Stuart, played by Gelinas, seeks his father out for reconciliation, he is confronted instead with the presence of Lily at the cottage.

“Karim spent months looking for the right house for the cottage, where most of my scenes were shot.  he finally found what he was looking for in La Peche.”  Most of the footage was filmed in Quebec.

“Shooting in a cottage was awesome.  It was great being isolated with everybody involved. There was nothing but the filming to worry about.  It was a tiny crew of great people.”

The movie employs flashback sequences to establish the development of Lily and Dan’s friendship.  Richmond Road’s own baker Street Cafe was transformed for two days as the location of a flashback scene set in a restaurant.

“Thanks to the Ottawa International Film Festival’s 72 Hour Film Challenge–held in late January–more people are branching out into film making.  I’ve met a lot of great new people through film jobs,” says Gelinas who is a seasoned player in the Ottawa theatre scene.  ”I like working with Karim, he has a wicked sense of humour, a real brightness and positivity that is terrific and rare.”

Gelinas is looking forward to more exposure to film.  ”I like it because it uses different muscles, it’s a new challenge.”  Just two weeks ago, he played a gambling fool who risks his hand in a variety of Russian Roulette for a scene in Crook, the latest film from Ottawa-based production company Zed Filmworks.

And you can catch Gelinas flexing his stage presence this May in the Company of Fools production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit, a story from Iranian playwright Nassism Soleimanpour.  ”You don’t rehearse, you just show up.  The point is you don’t know what to expect.”


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