Teenage dreams die hard — and sometimes not at all. That’s the spirit this film was made in. Not only does it tell the story of a young woman determined to marry for love in defiance of conventional early 20th-century society, the project has lived in the mind of producer Goldie Smitlener since she was a teen in Croatia and first read the novel it’s based on. (That, in turn, was based on a true story.) Years later, in her sixties and with no experience in filmmaking, she brought it to life on film.
Stolen Path has won awards at several festivals, including a Best Actress (from Los Angeles World International Film Festival 2016) for Daniela Smitlener, who had never acted before but, like her producer grandmother, evidently had undiscovered talent.
Speaking of talent, in the interest of full disclosure — we discovered at the cast and crew Q&A before the screening that Scott Taylor, who has worked with HNMag’s own Nick at Vancouver B Movie Factory, was among both the film and sound editors (he said he’d like to pioneer the field of composer-editor). Star Jacob Brkopac also has a family connection to a former co-worker of, well, someone with a family connection to HNMag.
It screened in Vancouver as part of National Canadian Film Day (coinciding with Vancouver’s own annual marijuana celebration/protest — let’s say it was an interesting trip downtown). Surveys were handed out to the audience for feedback, suggesting the film is still a work in progress.
With that in mind, we’ll be bringing you more on this film in days to come.