Creative pressure pays off in the end for director of Calgary short ‘Anxiety #5’

Friday 16th, October 2015 / 17:37
By Jennie Orton
Anxiety #5 is a six-minute Calgary-produced short set “in a Brooklyn tenement housing bathroom.”

Anxiety #5 is a six-minute Calgary-produced short set “in a Brooklyn tenement housing bathroom.”

CALGARY — Still high from the announcement that his film was accepted into the Atlantic Film Festival, director Jesse Foster had to rub his eyes to make sure he was accurately witnessing his film ranked number four in views on the festival website – sitting just above buzz films like The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell.

The film, a six-minute dialogue-free pressure cooker of a nightmare slice of life, is quietly creeping up on the festival season much like it does on the audience. This seat among festival favourites in Halifax is a decade-long accomplishment for Foster, as Anxiety #5, his second short to make the festival circuit in the last three years, has been a labour of love sparked by a poem of the same name by Robin Robertson, found by Foster’s mother 10 years ago.

“After the very first time I read it, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Foster says.

Since then, the film has undergone the typical arduous fundraising and developmental journey that is well known and documented in the independent film arena.

Foster, who sells pipe for Cantak in his daylight hours, found himself in a time and place where the technology and capabilities available finally matched his vision for the film and he was able to move forward with what has become a piece he is extremely proud of.

“I want to highlight this not only as my product but a Calgary product,” Foster says. “It’s also a great chance to highlight my team.”

The team he speaks of is a crew of 20 dedicated Calgarians. The crew shot and produced the film in 2014 and 2015 and Foster credits them, especially cinematographer Bradley Stuckel, with helping the film become the elegant surprise that it is.

Foster has already received positive feedback from Robertson himself, so he already counts this project a success. As it gets unleashed on the festival circuit, Foster hopes it will shine some light on the local film community in Calgary as well as make people permanently nervous about the contents of bathrooms everywhere.

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