Anna leads a troubled life these days. Despite a promising start at university she soon fell in with a bad crowd; first came the drugs, then the abusive relationship followed by gangsters and eventually she finds herself one of the main players in a prostitution ring. Her future does not look bright.
Fortunately though, Anna is not real. She’s a figment from the mind of River Heights based filmmaker Zan Klein, and she’s played to perfection by up and coming local actress Bridget Young.
Bridget cut her teeth in the performing arts at Tech Voc’s drama program where she had a couple of leading roles on stage as Betty Chumley in Harvey and then as Martha Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace.
These days Bridget works her day job as a debt collector whilst also fulfilling her passion for acting by moving from stage roles to film.
Anna is Bridget’s first leading role in cinema but she has appeared in other films as an extra, has done some voiceover work and is also working on music videos.
The film scene in Winnipeg has felt a bit of a renaissance as of late. On one hand we have the big budget location sites for Hollywood which have featured a variety of well-known stars over the years from Richard Gere to Shirley Maclaine and Renee Zellweger.
Then on another hand there’s our burgeoning local filmmaking scene epitomized by the Winnipeg Film Group who base themselves at Cinematheque on Arthur Street at Bannatyne.
Then there are the independent filmmakers of which Zan is one.
Zan’s latest production detailing the downward spiral of Anna’s life is called Shameless. It’s his third film. His previous efforts involved experimental works with film-noir, nineties sports movies and sci-fi.
You need a passion, an idea, a small budget and a group of like-minded friends. Your release medium could be YouTube or in Zan’s case the Park Theatre on Osborne Street where Shameless premiered to a mostly full house on September 16.
Zan credits his parent’s love of the cinema for his interest in filming and acting, and strives to make films that are not just entertaining but also moving.
Nowadays when not busy with securing grants and funding for new projects he’s concentrating on the writing aspect of his career and in addition to his scriptwriting he’s also contemplating a second novel.
Bridget tells me how she finds acting to be very freeing and allows her to immerse herself so completely in her role that she becomes someone else for a while.
Meanwhile I’m left wondering what will finally happen to Anna. One thing you can be sure of though, whatever her fate it will be expertly portrayed by Bridget.