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Langley brothers locally produced film being screened at film festival

‘The Founder Effect’ will play at Fort Langley Community Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24

A locally filmed movie is being featured at the Fort Langley Film Festival this weekend, produced by Langley-based film company Roguescots and brothers Justin and Kris MacGregor.

“The Founder Effect” was filmed across the Lower Mainland in locations in Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Hope, and the Okanagan, and will be screened on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Fort Langley Community Hall.

It follows a grandfather (played by Rick Edwards) who desperately searches for his missing grandson after a family getaway goes wrong in Hope, B.C. Pulling from his experience as a former policeman, he’s forced to confront his family’s past and haunting tales of people vanishing.

The idea for the film started as a no-dialogue and instrumental short in 2015, but after it was completed, Justin said he felt there was still some unfinished business.

“It took the pandemic to finally give us the breathing room to revisit that story and re imagine it… It became about shaping the story to best suit the gravitas that we know [Edwards] could bring to the role and ultimately centre it around themes of family, hope, and redemption – some of the core tenets that I hope guide all of our stories,” Justin explained.

Both brothers were already familiar with Edwards’ work from casting him in their film ‘Best F(r)iends’, and looked forward to working with the actor again, as well as Greg Sestero – who plays a missing person expert in the film.

“Teaming Edwards back up with Sestero was icing on the cake. When you can share that level of camaraderie between director and actors… there’s genuine coalescence of mind and spirit,” Justin said.

Kris called it a “treat” to film in “our own backyard.”

“A lot of our work takes us abroad, but this project became so intimate… We got to capture many of the landscapes that inspired our youth, and work with local cast and crew – many of whom were longtime collaborators. This is very much a homegrown film,” Kris told the Langley Advance Times.

The brothers hope people find themselves relating to the grandfather’s integrity, humility, and his desire to atone for past mistakes.

“In the pursuit of his missing grandson, our protagonist Jack’s internal compass guides him toward truth, redemption, and ultimately self-forgiveness — which is something a lot of people struggle with,” Justin noted.

Kris noted that the opening shot of the film is the welcome sign to Hope because they wanted to retain the real-life town name for the fictional film setting.

So far, “The Founder Effect” has been screened in more than 55 film festivals in 22 countries.

The Fort Langley Film Festival starts Friday and runs until Sunday, Feb. 23 to 25, at the community hall. It features a lineup of local and international independent films and special events.

The three-day festival kicks off on the evening of Friday, Feb. 23 with an awards gala reception of the Fort Flicks 48-Hour Film Challenge, which saw a dozen teams of all ages from local schools, post-secondary institutions, and the community create short films over a single weekend.

All of the films from the challenge will be screened on Friday night, with three winning filmmakers being awarded the Best Film prize and their short film being screened the following day.

Saturday festivities will start at 10 a.m. with a coffee social hour, followed by an afternoon presentation of 16 short films from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., plus the three 48-Flick challenge winning films.

In the evening “The Founder Effect” will be screened at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the film “Voices” will show at 11:15 a.m., followed by “The Program” at 1:30 p.m., and “Manufacturing the Threat” at 4:30 p.m.

A question and answer period with directors will follow each screening.

People interested can purchase single-film, daily, or weekend passes at creative-compass.com.

The Fort Langley Community Hall is located at 9167 Glover Rd.

Justin and Kris hope to have another Lower Mainland screening after this weekend’s.

They are also in post-production of a documentary featuring the Langley Ukulele Ensemble, which was several years in the making, they said.

READ MORE: Fort Langley Film Festival presents 16 shorts, 3 documentaries

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm excited to start my journalism career in Langley and meet our community.
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