Art students gathered at Cine Cycle to catch a screening and Q&A session with the star and filmmakers of My Prairie Home, a Canadian feature documentary-musical about indie folk singer, Rae Spoon.
The film captures Spoon’s melancholic journey through the prairies of Canada. It artistically reveals Spoon’s process of going through life as a trans person and musician through the tactful use of interviews, live performances, and music sequences. The film showcases the ability to accept yourself and have the courage to live your life the way you want to, no matter how difficult it may seem.
Cine Cycle is a bicycle repair shop by day and indie theatre by night. In a hidden alleyway on Spadina Avenue, Cine Cycle hosted a screening of the film last night. The documentary’s cinematographer, Maya Bankovic, editor, Avril Jacobson, and Spoon were in attendance and answered questions from audience members about the development of the film.
Spoon, who goes by the pronoun ‘they’, started the Q&A by talking about how the film’s director and writer, Chelsea McMullan worked with them in the early stages of pre-production.
“Chelsea didn’t know much of my history so we set up this camera for an interview and then she realized I wasn’t so forthcoming with random questions, so I ended up just going away and writing stories to her and then coincidently through all that, she wrote the script,” Spoon said. “I’m glad it took many years to do. We were slowing working towards things, which was very good for me, but yeah, it was pretty therapeutic for me in the end.”
Jacobson also shared what was most challenging about the film and how long it took for them to finish the whole project, which, according to Bankovic, took three years to complete.
“Transitioning was always the big conversation, trying to integrate music sequences into documentary situations,” said Jacobson. “We had a strange process because the development shoot was done first and we didn’t know we were to shoot more, so Chelsea and I spent a month editing the development footage and two years later, when the rest of it was shot, it was another four or five months of editing.”
Prior to the end of production, the film went on to be an official selection at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
“It was really surreal, it was pretty much everyone’s first time at Sundance and it was pretty cool,” said Spoon. “It was surreal because when we made the film I was like, ‘Okay, go Canada’, and then I was like, ‘Oh my God, America’s going to see my story’. So for me, it was a very nice surprise.”
Bankovic also shared her experience at Sundance and the positive reaction the film received in Utah.
“It was a secret goal for me to release something there one day. I have made a couple of things with Chelsea but when we went to Sundance, I told her on the phone, I’m very happy it is with this film,” Bankovic said. “It’s a kind of film that you can really talk about and care about and it got a lot of positive attention, which was nice and some press and the Utah audience seemed to really respond to it, they seemed to really relate to the atmosphere of the film.”