1K Wave’s dark comedic success ‘Mourning Has Broken’ soon to be available on television

Beginning in Feb., film buffs worldwide will be able to download a very unusual and successful Canadian made movie, which premiered in Calgary on Sept. 28, 2013.

The Calgary International Film Festival premiered the film Mourning Has Broken, which is a dark humour movie created by the Toronto based Butler brothers.

The film won the ‘Best Actor’ at the Queens World Film Festival in 2014, as well as the ‘Audience Choice’ at the Anchorage International Film Festival.

“Brett and I threw our hats in the rink for that and said yeah let’s do this,” said Jason Butler “Let’s announce our presence with authority on the scene.”

Brett and Jason Butler produced the movie for the tiny sum of $1,000. Mourning Has Broken is set to be release on Feb. 3, and can be viewed on iTunes, Shaw’s Video On Demand, Sasktel and MTS in Manitoba.

As for a DVD release, Jason Butler hopes to have a DVD available later this year with some behind-the-scenes footage on how the micro budgeted film was created.

Thousand dollar challenge

Ingrid Veninger, a Torontonian director, actress and producer, put up $5,000 to challenge fellow movie producers to create a feature film for under $1,000.

Veninger gathered the contestants at The Royal Cinema to hear their pitches for $1,000 film. Veninger said the Butler brothers stood out compared to the other producers.

“The first thing I was impressed by was the brothers brought their own lunch,” said Veninger. “Right away I thought that was a complete micro budget.”

This showed Veninger that the brothers could work on the budget and when they stood up to give their speech, she believed they could pull off a small budgeted film.

“There’s really nobody like them, they’re entertaining, they’re funny and they have amazing resources,” said Veninger. “Their first feature film cost $250 and I had total confidence they would be able to do something interesting with $1,000.”

Inspiration

Mourning Has Broken is a tear-jerking, emotional roller coaster filled to the brim with dark comedy. The feature film shows the raw human emotion of a man suffering from a great loss and how he deals with his life in a way that is deemed socially unacceptable.Jason Butler, left, and Brett Butler, right, at The Calgary International Film Festival in 2013, where their $1,000 budget film Mourning Has Broken premiers.

Photo courtesy of Doug Wong.

“Our style is uncomfortable comedy and we wanted to challenge ourselves,” said Jason. “We were both coming out of relationships that had ended badly and we just pulled that kind of anger into this and tweak our thoughts of love and relationships and what it means [while] tying that up with what bugs us about society.”

A scene in the movie depicts the main character, played by Robert Nolan, in a movie theater yelling at the audience to be silent.

Jason explains that scene is where he and his brother thought “where’s the humanity going?” and poured all their emotions on this one scene.

That part is almost too awkward and uncomfortable to watch and hits the audience with the reality of our obsessive need to be on our phones instead of enjoying life in front of us.

“[That scene] came out fast and furious, alarmingly easy in a sense, I think it was just there bubbling under the surface for us,” said Jason. “Adding humour to such serious subject matter helps the viewer engage with the experience.”

The face of the film

Robert Nolan is the main actor and winner of “Best Actor Male Feature” during the Queens World Film Festival for his role in Mourning Has Broken.
Robert Nolan as seen in one of the film’s scenes, wins “Best Actor Male Feature” during the Queens World Film Festival for his role in Mourning Has Broken.


Photo courtesy of Michael Jari Davidson.

Nolan’s character is followed by the camera as he goes about his day-to-day activities.He reacts to certain annoying situations most people face every day in a way that is frowned upon by society.

“I think they hit a nerve, they worked it out because they solicited ideas to people asking what do you find annoying in your daily life,” said Nolan. “They found things we all have in common; everyone watching the movie experienced those situations and my character over reacts to that.”

According to Nolan, the film represents the theme of life and death and how people will enter and leave your life.

“It has a good combination of deeply really important things and not important at all but we take really importantly,” said Nolan. “[Its] a dark comedy, sort of an existential obscurity of what this man is doing in the film.”

Nolan hopes audiences will watch the film and understand that what you may see as crazy on the outside could be understood as someone going through a rough time in life.

Why Watch?

“It’s a film you’re not likely to see [and] that won’t be made by anybody else,” said Veninger. “If you’re looking for something way out of the box that you’re going to talk about and have fun with, check out Mourning Has Broken.”

Jason maintains that he is proud of the turnout of Mourning Has Broken, especially with the reactions within the industry.

“We’re very proud of how this film has resonated with filmgoers and inspired filmmakers on the budget we had. Micro budget films are not going away anytime soon and that’s a good thing, because they push storytelling and the craft of filmmaking with the inherent challenges involved and that has a ripple effect on the entire industry.”

hcawsey@cjournal.ca