Director: Kelly Saxberg
Producer: Ron Harpelle
Writer: Peter Raffo
Camera: Donald Delorme
Editor: Kelly Saxberg
Music: Danny Johnson
The Fatal Flower Project, Bringing Back A Piece Of Canada's Filmmaking Heritage:
The Fatal Flower Project is a broad-spectrum effort to preserve and enhance Canada's film history. The project is a co-operative effort by a group of cinema enthusiasts to finish a silent film, produce a video package of the most significant collection of amateur films made in Canada before the advent of sound, republish a book written by the first female independent filmmaker in Canada, and create an interactive educational package that ties everything together. The Fatal Flower Project is both historical and pedagogical.
The project got its name from a film shot in 1930 by the Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society, the same people who gave Canada its first amateur feature-length film, A Race for Ties. The Fatal Flower was the third film made by the group, but the onset of the Great Depression of the 1930s bankrupted the company before the film could go into post-production. The result is approximately 45 minutes of unedited, but usable film in near perfect condition. In order to complete The Fatal Flower the movie-makers had to gather the footage that survived, edit it into a coherent narrative, create dialogue cards and insert them into the film, compose a musical score that was historically appropriate, and flesh out as far as possible the story of the Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society.
All three of the Port Arthur Cinema Society's films were written by Dorothea Mitchell, a woman who was born in England, raised in India, immigrated to Canada, and in 1907 became the first single woman granted a homestead in Ontario. Mitchell was a remarkable woman who was meticulous about keeping her personal papers. These papers, her photographs and newspaper articles about her form another component of The Fatal Flower Project. By using the dialogue written for the first films and after careful study of the documents that reveal her public and private life, the members of The Fatal Flower Project have attempted to remain true to Dorothea Mitchell's style. Similarly, The Fatal Flower Project sought to compose music, draw and film title cards and produce period posters for the film. Every aspect of the finishing of The Fatal Flower has been as historically accurate as possible.
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