LOOKING IS THE ORIGINAL SIN
a film by Gail Harvey
World Premiere | Montreal World Film Festival | Screening August 23 + 24
Maria del Mar
Written and directed by Gail Harvey
Directors of Photography – Peter Benison, Colin Hoult, Josh Fraiman, Gail Harvey
Editor – John Nicholls
Composer – Dillon Baldassero
Produced by Gail Harvey, Katie Boland, Maria del Mar
The competing pulls of motherhood and career are often reduced to trite Cosmo-Girl terms with the question “Can women have it all?” But today’s balancing-act belies generations of past trauma in a judgmental society – not least of all in the life of the tragic “freak” photographer Diane Arbus, whose life and art inspired Gail Harvey’s mother-daughter drama Looking Is The Original Sin.
A story about “love, loss, discovery, alienation and the transformational power of art,” Looking Is The Original Sin follows the journey of 19-year-old Anna (Katie Boland, who co-produced the film with her director mother and co-star Maria del Mar).
The daughter of an acclaimed, depression-prone “outsider-art” photographer named Helene (del Mar), Anna has grown up with pressure from multiple directions. She is at once her mother’s daughter and mother’s “mother,” fretting over her disappearances and feeling guilt over the burden she has placed on her.
Finally, she feels the pull of her mother’s journey through the fringes of society and the raw, suffering beauty of the human experience. Camera in hand, Anna seeks to find an identity by retracing the absentee Helene’s footsteps, and hopefully to solve the mystery of her disappearance via clues in her painful photos.
Once immersed in her mother’s underworld, the question becomes, is Anna obliged to follow her into the darkness, or can she create her own destiny?
Named a “Rising Star” at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Katie Boland welcomes the chance to share in her own mother’s career, and admits there are surface parallels in Looking Is The Original Sin.
“My mom previously was a photographer,” says Boland, “and she was always into photographing life as opposed to just living it. But the mother in this film is very different from my mom. She’s mentally ill and unstable, and my mom is incredibly stable. But our relationship is definitely infused in everything we do together.”
Looking Is The Original Sin will be released in Canada in the fall. It was produced by the generous support of ACTRA Toronto, and produced with the participation of Telefilm, Canada. Breakthrough Entertainment has world rights for distribution.
About Breakthrough Entertainment:
Headquartered in Toronto, Breakthrough Entertainment Inc. (BEI) is a world class studio; a leading global producer and distributor of award winning movies, primetime comedy and drama series, as well as factual entertainment, documentaries and children’s animation. The company handles distribution as well as worldwide pre-sales, co-productions and third-party acquisitions. In addition to its dedicated development, production and distribution divisions, Breakthrough’s digital media division ranks among one of the industry’s most respected producers of high quality digital entertainment including ebooks, webisodes and online, and mobile games. www.breakthroughentertainment.com