– directed by Ted Bezaire – SPOILERS
SAMANTHA SPENCER: “Things change, dad. I know you want to be the HOO [Head of Ornithology] but you don’t always have to be the lead bird to get where you’re supposed to be.”
You may know Tom Cavanaugh from THE FLASH for his role as Eobard Thawne aka Dr. Harrison Wells. He is ornithologist Ron Spencer in THE BIRDER (renamed THE BIRD MEN for a U.S. release that hasn’t happened yet), and the two characters have something in common — an inability to let go of the past. The difference is that Wells never sees the light, but Spencer comes out ok.
From either version of the title, one might think there are birds in the movie. This is not true. The only bird to make an appearance is one lone prairie falcon, and it was there to make a point. The falcon is Spencer’s lifer (A lifer is a bird that is having trouble finding its way home, usually because it’s been blown off course during migration.) Instead of stopping everything else and focusing on his once-in-a-lifetime birding experience, Spencer decides to put himself back on course instead.
THE BIRDER is completely unpretentious and pleasantly funny. Ron Spencer is a charming bumbler who eventually gets it right. His daughter Samantha (Cassidy Renee) is wise beyond her years; and his improvised best friend (Ben, the newly-hired high school janitor, played by Mark Rendall) is single-minded in his pursuit of his high-school sweetheart Laura.
Graham Greene, the gruff and grumpy Rafe McCawley on DEFIANCE, plays a similar character here (Ben’s step-dad Manny).
Three LOST GIRL alumni are in the cast: Tommie-Amber Pirie as Laura, Allana Harkin as Ron’s ex-wife, and Scott Cavalheiro as Ron’s ex-wife’s boyfriend.
THE BIRDER was filmed in Windsor, Ontario. The park in the film seems to be a blend of Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario, and Wheatley Provincial Park near Chatham. The DVD can now be purchased from Amazon Canada.
Tommie-Amber Pirie (Laura) will be Vanessa in the comedy CLUSTERFUCK, directed by Iranian/Canadian filmmaker Mazi Khalighi. Brian, the film’s central character, is in the midst of a late-20’s life crisis which causes him to not recognize that his best friend Maggie (Glenda MacInnis) is in love with him, and instead to determinedly pursue Vanessa, who is not. In the trailer/pitch video for the film, Tommie-Amber wears a Pelee Region Provincial Park t-shirt from The Birder. CLUSTERFUCK should begin to show up at film festivals sometime later this year.
Graham Greene (Manny) is Buffalo in the film UNNATURAL, the story of an attempt to genetically modify Alaskan polar bears to help them adapt to climate change, with horrific and deadly results. The film had a US theatrical release last October, and is available on DVD in the UK under the title MANEATER. It can be streamed on Amazon video.
Scott Cavalheiro (Darcy) will be Will in the Joan Carr-Wiggin film LOVE OF MY LIFE, about which nearly no information has been released. It was filmed in Sault Ste. Marie and is a comedy with a great cast that also includes Katie Boland, Hannah Anderson, and Naomi Snieckus. Cavalheiro is also Luke Evans in Kris Holden-Ried‘s short film THE EPITATH, which asks the question: What would happen if people knew the day on which they will die, but not the year?