Saanich director headed to Cannes with short film

Jeremy Lutter is earning accolades for Reset, a short film about a robot who develops feelings of love for her owner

Saanich filmmaker Jeremy Lutter is headed to the Cannes Film Festival to screen his latest film Reset, a short drama about a female android (played by Vancouver actress Emily Tennant, pictured) that develops feelings of love for her owner.

Saanich filmmaker Jeremy Lutter is headed to the Cannes Film Festival to screen his latest film Reset, a short drama about a female android (played by Vancouver actress Emily Tennant, pictured) that develops feelings of love for her owner.

Who knew a middle school A/V class taught by a district councillor would be the entry point for a Saanich filmmaker to make it to Cannes?

Jeremy Lutter is on his way to the internationally acclaimed film festival with his short film Reset being screened in Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent series, a curated showcase of works by Canadian filmmakers. Lutter got his start making movies in junior high at Cedar Hill middle school, spending three years in its multimedia program under the guidance of Saanich Coun. Vic Derman.

“They had a bunch of video gear, and I just started shooting school projects with my friends,” said Lutter. “That was the first time I ever used a video camera.”

While Lutter’s filmography is primarily family movies, Reset is a considerably more dramatic story of a female robot (played by Vancouver actress Emily Tennant) that develops human emotions for her owner. The film was produced by Lutter’s company, Broken Mirror Films, and he served as director and executive producer of the 16-minute short.

“It’s the story of an android that has feelings of love and she’s not supposed to,” said Lutter. “It’s about technology and our fear of the future – if we create something that actually has feelings, is it human or not? Where do we draw the line about whether it’s a human being?

“The writer, Ryan Bright, would say the film is a little bit about our current dating scenario with Tinder and all these apps, the way people are a bit too casual with the way that they treat people.”

Bright initially pitched the concept to Lutter, who said it struck him as a powerful character piece and a good foray outside his usual type of work.

“It was quite the opposite of anything I’d ever done before,” said Lutter. “We ended up pitching it to BravoFact and winning some finances of Bravo to shoot the film.”

Lutter said it took a little more than a year from the initial meeting to get the cameras rolling, but their hard work has paid off: Reset has only been screened at a few festivals, but has already received quite a bit of praise from audiences.

It’s currently up for seven Leo Awards, including Best Program, Screenwriting, Visual Effects, Sound, Musical Score and Production Design. Tennant is nominated for Best Performance by a Female in a Short Drama.

“The whole cast was awesome, but Emily Tennant really did a bang-up job of playing that android,” said Lutter. “When we recorded the climax scene on set, everyone was quiet – you could hear a pin drop because it was a great piece of drama.”

The film premiered at the Long Beach Film Festival in New York, where it won Best Narrative Short, and received positive reviews at London’s Sci-Fi Film Festival. Now Lutter’s heading to France for Cannes, noting it’s a tremendous opportunity to network with other filmmakers.

“The best part about Not Short on Talent is they bring filmmakers from across Canada there, so you get to meet cool filmmakers from Winnipeg and the Maritimes,” said Lutter. “Strangely, you have to go all the way to France to hang out with a bunch of Canadians.”

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 11 to 22. For more information, visit festival-cannes.fr and brokenmirrorfilms.com.

 

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

Just Posted

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

Most Read