It’s 1999 and Calgary’s Middleview Ducks are about to endure another thrashing on the basketball court. As they debate the finer points of The Matrix and try and grasp the "triangle offence" their assistant coach (Kim’s Convenience’s Andew Phung) is intent on running, they’re blissfully unaware that the school’s radical theatre troupe is about to stage a protest. That is, if they can find enough hairdryers to thaw a frozen bucket of blood.
With his first feature, writer-director Ted Stenson demonstrates one of the most original comic sensibilities to gatecrash Canadian cinema in recent years. The titles of both this feature and a preceding short - Craig, the Loneliest Man in the World, Makes a Friend, Loses a Friend, and Subsequently Learns the Value of Solitude - evince a gift for distending and distorting the mundane to absurd extremes. While his deadpan dialogue captures the forces of earnestness and apathy that equally inform the high school experience, his impeccable compositions invite us to view his hapless players with both amusement and empathy while perhaps questioning why some of them look so damn familiar.
Includes an interview with Director: Ted Stenson
Andrew Phung, Ben Arthurs, Isra Abdelrahim, Jay Morberg, Ivy Miller, Thomas Receveur, Isaiah McKirgan, Paul Cowling
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.
Ted Stenson is a writer and filmmaker based in Calgary, Alberta. He graduated from the MFA Theatre program at the University of Calgary with a degree in playwriting. His plays and short films have been performed and screened at festivals across Canada and the United States. He is currently developing a radio play about an animal plastic surgeon. Events Transpiring Before, During, and After a High School Basketball Game is his first feature film.