World Premiere at TIFF 2010
pUNK Films Presents
A film by Ingrid Veninger
Introducing Hallie Switzer and Alexander Gammal
Cinematographer Ian Anderson Sound Recordist John Switzer Editor Aren Hansen
Composer John Welsman Sound Design Jakob Thiesen Mixers Eric Apps and Jason Perreira
Written, Produced and Directed by Ingrid Veninger
A pUNK films production produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada
It’s another family affair for Canadian filmmaker Ingrid Veninger as she returns to her Slovakian roots with MODRA, a snapshot of repressed teen desire and confusion.
Veninger – whose acclaimed 2008 film Only, a fresh tale of tween love, starred her son Jacob – now introduces her daughter Hallie Switzer as the centerpiece in a subtle tale of emotional chaos on a scale one can only experience in adolescence.
Lina is 17 years old and lives in Toronto with her mother. For one week during the summer holidays she plans to visit her extended family in Modra, a small town in Slovakia. When Lina is dumped by her boyfriend, she invites Leco instead, a cute boy from school.
Not long after arriving in Modra, Lina and Leco discover they have little in common. To make matters worse, Lina’s family mistakenly assumes they’re a couple. So far from home, they are forced to confront one another, setting off an unconventional romance.
Featuring performances by newcomers Hallie Switzer and Alexander Gammal, MODRA is a journey into the heightened emotional chaos of two teenagers, a time when adulthood has not yet arrived, but childhood seems to have already long vanished.
“ONLY, which I made with my son Jacob, was a remarkable experience both as parent and director,” Veninger says. “He was about to turn 13, and the film explored first love and that time just before we become adolescents. When Hallie, my daughter, turned 17, I knew it would be important for us to create something together, before she finished high school and was off into the world – and that’s how MODRA was born.”
Born in Bratislava, and raised in Canada, Ingrid Veninger is a producer/actor/writer/director with numerous award-winning credits to her name, including NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY, which was recently nominated for 10 Genie Awards. She has worked extensively in film, television and theatre since 1980, appearing as an actor alongside Holly Hunter, Jackie Burroughs, Stellan Skarsgard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Clark Johnson, Janeane Garofalo and Meryl Streep, among others.
A graduate of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre (CFC), Ingrid Veninger has been a prolific producer, collaborating with Jeremy Podeswa on the Gemini nominated performance-documentary, STANDARDS, featuring Sarah McLachlan, Holly Cole and Molly Johnson. She has produced projects with performance artist Jacob Wren, and filmmakers Anais Granofsky, Alexandra Rockingham, Julia Kwan, Simon Reynolds, Charles Officer and Peter Mettler (GAMBLING, GODS AND LSD).
In 2003, Ingrid formed pUNK FILMS INC. with a “nothing is impossible” manifesto. This decade has seen Ingrid continue to produce ventures with emerging and established artists, as well as applying herself to directing passion projects: MAMA, featuring music by M.I.A.; HOTEL VLADIVOSTOK; ACTION; THE BUNNY PROJECT; and URDA/BONE, a lyrical short co-directed with Charles Officer, which screened at The New York Film Festival-Lincoln Centre.
In 2008, Ingrid co-wrote/directed the micro-budgeted, ONLY, which received critical accolades at TIFF, Rome, Slamdance, Hamburg, Romania and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. www.onlythemovie.com
MODRA is Ingrid’s first feature film as sole writer/producer/director. www.modrathemovie.com
Upcoming feature projects for 2010/11: co-producing Peter Mettler’s new documentary END OF TIME with Maximage GmbH and The National Film Board of Canada; and developing THE DIARY OF LAURA’S TWIN based on the best-selling novel by Kathy Kacer.