“Maddie” (Melanie Rose Wilson) enjoys a serene moment in the upcoming Telefilm Talent to Watch feature film, All-in Madonna, written, directed and produced by Susie Winters, Arnold Lim and Ana de Lara, respectively, and executive producer Robin Chan. (Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Films Ltd.)

“Maddie” (Melanie Rose Wilson) enjoys a serene moment in the upcoming Telefilm Talent to Watch feature film, All-in Madonna, written, directed and produced by Susie Winters, Arnold Lim and Ana de Lara, respectively, and executive producer Robin Chan. (Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Films Ltd.)

Black Press videographer leads Island-made film

Local filmmakers, writer partner for feature film

As the year comes to a close, so does the work of an all-Island crew and cast as they shoot the final pieces for the feature film All-In Madonna.

Hoped to be released by the spring of 2020, All-In Madonna is the story of 17-year-old Maddie growing up in the fictional Vancouver Island town of Blue Lake. Having been home-schooled, Maddie enrolls in public school for the first time. There she discovers dark secrets about her father and Maddie now has to reconcile the father she knew with the person he is.

Director Arnold Lim (centre) on set for Telefilm Talent to Watch feature film, All-In Madonna.
(Photo courtesy of Blue Lake Films Ltd.)

The script was written by University of Victoria graduate Susie Winters and this feature film is four years in the making. It started when Arnold Lim, executive producer of the Black Press Media Video Network, partnered with Winters and producer Ana de Lara and earned one of the last grants from BravoFact (worth $32,500) to create a short film of All-In Madonna.

READ MORE: CineVic contest pairs filmmakers with local musicians

The team then used that 2018 short film as proof of concept and submitted it to win one of 38 feature film grants from the Telefilm Canada Talent Fund worth $125,000, and a B.C. Arts Council grant of $25,000. It’s this, plus donations and sponsorships that are helping de Lara, Lim and another producer, Robin Chan, bring All-In Madonna to completion, de Lara said.

“Cast and crew work on a fair deal agreement where everyone gets $100 per day,” said de Lara, a longtime member of the Victoria scene and who is also a comedian turned actor and writing teacher. “We do get grants to make the projects but they’re small compared to what the actual cost is of the project.”

The movie is entirely shot on the south Island and all cast and crew are Island-based except for one actor from Vancouver.

As members of the “small Victoria independent-film community” De Lara and Lim have combined on several shorts but this is their first feature-length film.

“It’s just not a big community so we’ve supported each other on each’s projects,” de Lara said.

It’s part of a third-calling for Lim, who found his second-calling when he moved into photojournalism 12 years ago after a career as a restaurateur. Lim is a regular photographer at the Olympic Games, will shoot the Tokyo Games in 2020, and is a winner of numerous Canadian Community Newspaper and Ma Murray (B.C.) awards.

While reporting for the Victoria News in 2011, Lim wrote a piece on the CineVic Reel-to-Reel music video contest. Before the contest closed, Lim signed up to create an entry with the band Step Back Dave. The video was judged as the audience favourite by the 2011 jury.

“I thought about the contest but I got busy, and when I filed the preview story, CineVic told me all the available artist songs were already chosen. But I called back anyways and was told, ‘actually there is one video left.’”

So Lim entered that contest, won the audience favourite prize, created contacts with CineVic, and opened doors to more.

“I had grown up more as a documentarian, and through that, then with Reel-to-Reel I got a taste for narrative which I’m really passionate about,” Lim said.

READ ALSO: Black Press videographer wins TeleFilm grant to direct full-length feature

Lim is the director of All-In Madonna. The team has completed principal photography and is awaiting one cast member to re-grow his beard so they can complete the “pick-up shoots” before the year ends.

After that, it’s a matter of getting the film into the festival circuit. Otherwise, getting eyeballs on Canadian independent features is challenging, Lim said.

Once this movie is complete, Lim and de Lara will soon turn there focus to a web-based comedy series they’ve partnered on called Best Friend Me, a comedy about depression and self-compassion.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Traffic waits at the intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue. A study found failing levels of service at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left-moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Province supports potential interim improvements to Sidney intersection

Province says interchange is the long-term plan for intersection of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17

A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Most Read