TWILLINGATE, N.L. - When Bhaveek Makan and his production company Rendering Glint begin shooting their short horror film ‘Lovely Mummers’ in Twillingate this week, it will be a kind of homecoming for the Vancouver filmmaker.
“I’m looking forward to making a film in a place where I used to live. It’s like coming full circle.”
Makan, who is originally from South Africa, spent part of his childhood in Twillingate, and he wants his film to pique people’s interest in knowing more about the province and in visiting his former home town.
“When I tell people that I used to live in the iceberg capital of the world, they usually have no idea that there is such a thing as an iceberg capital. They don’t believe that such a place exists.” Makan said, “I want them to see it, to know that it is real.”
He feels that having the intriguing local landscape as a backdrop for what he described as a 'horror fairytale' will put the town in a good light and attract a specific type of tourist.
“The whole thing highlights the town and people who watch films enjoy seeing the places they were filmed.” Makan said. “I’d like everyone who watches this to fly down and do an iceberg tour.”
Even though “Lovely Mummers” is a horror film, it is not about twisting the fun tradition into something evil. Mummering is just part of the framework for telling the story.
“This isn't so much about strangers being scary,” Makan said, “It's more about the mystery in this family and in the community and how that gets revealed through the story.”
Makan always enjoyed mummering when he lived in the province and he thought most local traditions were just part of being Canadian. He found it interesting when he moved to Vancouver and discovered that mummering was a Newfoundland thing that other people either found odd or didn't know about at all.
“There were all these times when I was telling people about Mummers and I thought it was just ordinary,” Makan said. “But other people thought it was very very strange that you would let strangers into your house.”
That unfamiliarity was one of the starting points when Makan began working on this idea two or three years ago, combining elements from the tradition of mummering with themes and ideas from fairy folklore from here and from India. He has been working with St. John’s writer Cole Hayley to draw all of those ideas into the film.
While Makan is hoping his film will draw tourists to the province, he mostly wants to tell a good story and keep people entertained.
“Like many movies, it's just entertainment that can create discussion,” Makan said. “There are many horror movies that touch on traditions, especially Christmas, and they are all made in good fun.”
Lovely Mummers is scheduled to be shot in Twillingate between April 29 and May 4. Once the short film is complete, Makan intends to shoot a feature-length film that further explores these themes in 2019.
For more information about Rendering Glint, or about filmmaker Bhaveek Makan, please visit facebook.com/renderingglintfilms, twitter.com/rgfofficial or instagram.cam/tehbhav