Krista Loughton's documentary Us and Them - which follows the journey of four local homeless people - will screen on Parliament Hill in the spring.

Us and Them

Us and Them - a documentary looking at the journey of four homeless people - is set to screen at Parliament Hill this spring.

The grind of her first feature film was beginning to take its toll.

Years into Us & Them, a documentary following the lives of four homeless people, Krista Loughton admits there were times she felt overwhelmed. Shooting without funding, battling her own depression at the time and the pain of one the film’s subjects passing away, had become more than she could handle.

“I actually put the film down for a couple of years from 2010 to 2012. I felt like ‘I can’t look at this,’ I just need to deal with myself,” Loughton says. “We had lost people, so it was very difficult to go through that footage… I cried a lot of tears.”

Following the journey of Stan Hunter, Eddie Golko, Dawnellda Gauthier and Karen Montgrand for almost a decade, Loughton documented their addiction, mental illness, homelessness and even her own depression, topics seldom funded through the traditional filmmaking pathways.

So the first-time feature director, alongside co-director and co-producer David Malysheff, eschewed traditional budget models for the artistic freedom and financial burden of independent filmmaking built on sweat equity.

“Over the ten years (there were points in time) where I was deep in a valley in the dark and very concerned about whether the film would even be finished,” she says. “(Its) taken an enormous toll on me financially. I’ve been living in the spare room of my mom’s house for the last two years.”

The film eventually cost $200,000, funded through in-kind labour, deferrals, sponsorships from the Victoria Cool Aid Society and Telus, and an Indiegogo campaign. She currently still owes $60,000 in loans on the film.

“Being a first-time producer and director threw up no shortage of conflict. There certainly were times  both business wise and creatively, when I was in way over my head,” she says. (But) now that I’ve come out the other side, I feel stronger for persevering.”

After screenings in Victoria, Duncan, Campbell River, Winnipeg, Toronto among others, the film found its way into the hands of Victoria mayor Lisa Helps, who offered the film to Minister Jean Yves Duclos whose portfolio includes homelessness. Through that contact, the film now travels to Ottawa to screen on Parliament Hill in the spring.

“It’s the zenith to have Minister Duclos want to speak at that event, with invitations going out to all MP’s in his office. I reached the goal, that was the goal of this film. I am happy, grateful (that) I have had so many people helped push it forward.” she says.

“I was grateful that I was chosen as a voice to speak to (this) to the best of my ability and that is what I intend to do.”

Despite the arduous and unexpectedly decade-long journey, Loughton says she is happy with the film, which she hopes shines a spotlight on the plight of those living on the street, but said she has one major regret about her documentary.

“(I wish I finished) the film sooner, so Dawnelda and Stan could have seen themselves,” she said of the two subjects who passed away during filming.

“I sit in the theatre and wish that they were there, but that’s not how it worked out. Other than that, I have my armour on and I am ready to go.”

For more information visit usandthemthefilm.ca

Check out part of our video interview with Krista Loughton and Karen Montgrand below.

 

Just Posted

Deep Island connection for indie rockers Half Moon Run

Montreal-based band brings their dreamy sound to Victoria for Jan. 14 show at the Royal

Have your New Year’s Eve set? Try out these musical gala options

Greater Victoria venues featuring local bands to ring in 2020

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series, Resident Alien

Island town will play the role of Patience, Colo. in the series

Jim Cuddy Band members turn trio for next Victoria show

Jan. 11 stop at the McPherson Playhouse part of the Countrywide Soul tour

The Strumbellas grow their award-winning sound organically

Juno-winning band makes a rare West Coast appearance at the Royal Theatre for Jan. 9 concert

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

B.C. family’s ‘Feud’ game-show trip was ‘meant to happen’ after father’s death

Surrey resident Atish Ram’s departed father ‘loved game shows’

‘Jurassic World 3’ will film in Metro Vancouver under working title ‘Arcadia’

Filming is set to take place between Feb. 24 and March 6, 2020

Bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician triples in second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Talking about tubas! Annual concert attracts hundreds to Market Square

The 2019 edition of Tuba Christmas concert and fundraiser goes this Saturday in the square

Yellowpoint holiday spectacle returns this weekend

Musical variety show offers a wide range of genres, along with many of your seasonal favourites

Carolling in Cadboro Bay Village helps fund music at Mount Doug Secondary

Singing set for 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, in Cadboro Bay Village.

VIDEO: Celine Dion tops Billboard 200 for first time in over 17 years

‘Courage’ is Dion’s fifth album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200

Most Read