Featuring: Josh Wiggins, Maria Bello, Kyle MacLachlan, Darren Mann
Runtime: 93 min
Sandy Pereira, editor
With its unusually smart, perceptive and warm-hearted take on coming-of-age tropes, this second feature by Saskatchewan-bred, Toronto-based writer-director Keith Berhman feels wide and wise enough to somehow contain all the complexities that modern life present to teenagers (and their bewildered parents, too). The main teen in question is Franky (Josh Wiggins), a sensitive and popular youth on his high school’s swim team whose whole existence is upended when an ambiguous incident after a long night of partying compels him and everyone around him to confront their assumptions and prejudices. Just as the young actors clearly relish the chance to play characters that defy the stereotypes, Maria Bello and Kyle MacLachlan bring their best to their roles as Franky’s parents, who may strive to be understanding but inevitably bring their own issues to the table. A nominee for best screenplay and best actor honours for the Vancouver Film Critics Circle and a selection for Canada’s Top Ten, GIANT LITTLE ONES is a superior teen flick in every respect.
Keith Behrman was an aspiring novelist who discovered film was his true medium when he was 23. He then spent the next 16 years scraping together a living while financing his education and making short films and music videos. When he was almost 40, Behrman got his big break with the $2 million independent feature film FLOWER & GARNET. This award-winning film premiered to critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was invited to screen internationally at the Berlin Film Festival, Karlovy Vary, and the Boston International Film Festival where it received the Grand Jury Narrative Prize. Keith graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Simon Fraser University and is an alumnus of the Director’s Residency program at the Canadian Film Centre. The three short films he made before FLOWER & GARNET all premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. His 2nd feature, the 2018 film GIANT LITTLE ONES, was selected for a Special Presentation screening at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.