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Ingrid & the Black Hole is a short film about two children imagining what it would be like to travel through time together.

Funded by the first ever 35k Women in Film and Television/Bravofact Pitch Prize awarded to writer/director Leah Johnston at the Women Making Waves conference in March 2015, the film was shot in Nova Scotia in June 2015 and completed in Summer 2016. It had it’s World Premiere in July 2016 at Fantasia International Film Festival and was selected by Telefilm to screen as part of their Not Short on Talent program at Cannes Film Festival. The film recently swept the awards at Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, taking home awards for Best Editing, Best Technical Achievement, Best Screenplay and Best Film and won Best Canadian Short at Edmonton International Film Festival and Best Canadian or International Short at Silverwave Film Festival.

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The concept for the film has been with me for a number of years, but I never really had a script to express those ideas. Then in 2014, it all came together for me; I had moved back to Nova Scotia and was working part-time as a caretaker to my grandmother, who was suffering from alzheimer’s disease. Watching her and her experiences- she was really the inspiration for the story. One moment, my grandmother would believe she was a child, and then the next she would be looking around the house for our grandfather. She had no concept of time in any linear sense. In essence, she was a time traveler within her own mind. This was the inspiration behind the film- to illustrate Alzheimer’s disease from the perspective of someone going through it, rather than outside looking in.

The metaphor at the heart of this movie is of Alzheimer’s or Dementia being like a Black Hole that you get swept into. Once it touches you, you can’t escape from it. And of course, with black holes there are all kinds of theories about the bending of time or time travel. It seemed like a perfect metaphor for what my grandmother was going through.