It may be getting colder in Toronto, Canada, but that doesn’t mean that creativity has to be at a stand still. This is especially true for Brittany Bristow and Julia Rowland, the creators of the independent production company 45 West Films. Brittany has been acting since the age of 6, and has worked on a number of TV shows and films, including the upcoming film A Dangerous Arrangement alongside Deborah Kara Unger and Colm Meaney. Julia has worked for some of Canada’s top production companies and has two films on the short film festival circuit, including The New Romantics, which she wrote and directed. Fresh off of starting 45 West Films, the two ladies are already embarking on pre-production of their first short film project, Cherry, a film that focuses on a young woman’s journey as she attempts to lose her virginity, perhaps in the most unconventional way. Join Julia and Brittany as they chat about the film below, and celebrate with them November 6th at The Central for a fundraiser to make Cherry a reality!
How did you come up with the name 45 West Films?
JR: Haha, Brittany did! I don’t think we had any other name in contention. The name just came out of nowhere and we both loved it immediately.
BB: Haha, yeah. Julia and I decided to “brain-cloud” a name that represented our relationship. I grew up in the Beaches, Julia grew up in the west end of the city. We met in 2010 at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts while we were doing a Shakespeare program (yes we did Shakespeare camp, we’re cool okay?). When we returned to Toronto we lost touch, but I had moved to the west end and one day when I was getting of the streetcar we bumped into each other on the corner… literally! We realized we lived 5 minutes from one another and our friendship exploded! In 2014 I was in LA and Julia came to visit me. Every time we’d come together after meeting it had been because one of us was heading west… and we discovered our childhood homes had been 45 minutes away from one another… that or we had one glass of wine too many and I liked the name…
You’re throwing a company launch/fundraising party – what made you decide to go that route? Did you consider IndieGoGo or Kickstarter as a way of raising money?
JR: We did and we love IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. The whole medium is great, but for us, because we’re launching our company at the same time, we really want to celebrate that with our friends and people we respect and admire in the industry.
BB: Celebrating our company with the people who have supported our endeavors has been hugely important to us in planning this party. Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are great options, but we both love the idea of having face to face interactions with those who support us and we loved the idea of having a silent auction to raise money with the support of local Toronto businesses!
Cherry, your first short film under 45 West Films is currently in pre-production, correct?
JR: Yes, it is!
Can you tell us more about it?
JR: Cherry tells the story of a young woman who goes on a quest to lose her virginity. We have a truly stellar cast and crew, including my wonderful business partner!
BB: Awe – she’s too kind! Yeah we’re lucky we’ve got an incredible group of actors on board – Kyle Mac, Evan Williams, Emily Coutts, Joella Crichton and Rachelle Ganesh – it’s a fun fresh take on a classic comedy!
So you’re planning a party, a movie – do you ever sleep?
JR: Sleep is overrated. We do, however, get crazy hyper and giddy sometimes. Does that count?
BB: HAHAHAHA NO. I’m also heading to North Bay to work on a film right after our party and get back a few days before we shoot – coffee is my best friend.
What’s next for 45 West Films after Cherry?
JR: We have some more shorts lined up, a series for the web in development and a feature too. Brittany and I are always texting each other with ideas; we like being busy!
At the end of the day, we really want to tell great stories! Story is what drives us. One of our mandates is that we’re passionate about telling great stories, in any form.
BB: Yeah! What she said! We’re honestly just two people who are really passionate about working in the film industry. As long as we’re writing, producing, in my case acting and Julia’s directing, we’re happy. We’d love to be able to travel and work as well – but for now as long as we have a project we’re working on we’ll be satisfied.
If you want to know more about Brittany, Julia and 45 West Films, please visit their website. The 45 West Films launch/fundraiser will be taking place at The Central, 603 Markham Street, Second Floor, from 8pm-2am on Friday November 6th.