Antoine Bourge's "Fail to Appear" to premiere at VIFF 2017 / by Karen Harnisch

Canadian Director Antoine Bourge premieres his debut feature, Fail to Appear at the Future // Present program at the 2017 edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival. The film was shot in Toronto in the summer of 2016 and produced by Film Forge's Karen Harnisch and MDFF's Dan Montgomery. See excerpts from the Globe and Mail's profile of Fail to Appear and its filmmakers:

"Fail to Appear, the debut feature from Canadian director Antoine Bourges, is a quiet gem that draws the viewer in from its opening frame – a long, steady shot of office equipment in an aesthetically challenged basement. It is experimental filmmaking that is at the same time wholly accessible and utterly watchable. And it is an ideal showcase for the new wave of talent coming out of Toronto's indie scene: a community of young cinephiles, often working below the radar and with microbudgets – and collaborating like mad. Screening in VIFF's Future//Present series, Fail to Appear is a shoestring-budget Canadian film about a social worker that viewers will find hard to shake...Part of the film's success comes from Bourges's casting of a mix of professional actors and non-actors. Isolde is played by Deragh Campbell, a 2015 TIFF rising star who starred in Never Eat Alone, which won filmmaker Sofia Bohdanowicz last year's Emerging Canadian Director award at VIFF. Eric is played by Nathan Roder, who is not a professional actor – one of several in the film, many of whom have real-life experience in the world Bourges portrays. 'There's a whole tradition of fiction film that involves non-actors because there's this unexpected quality to their performance, something a bit more pure, something you can't quite write or put down that gets revealed while you work with them,; says Bourges, who used a similar approach in his previous mid-length film, East Hastings Pharmacy.

'I think what is most interesting about working with non-professional actors is I really feel that we both elevate each other," Campbell says in a separate interview. "Because it requires a really particular amount of attention that you have to pay to each other in order to one make each other feel comfortable, respond naturally; and because you're working with a person who in some ways is much more natural than you are by virtue of maybe not having acquired a certain number of habits in front of the camera.' The performances by the non-actors, including Holder, are convincing – subtle yet assured. But it's Campbell who is a naturalistic revelation as the neophyte case worker trying to find her feet in a world where too many people fall through the cracks.

See the entire Globe and Mail revue here