Article originally posted @ http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/137025-matthews-thrilled-first-film-in-cbc-shorts-gala on September 18th, 2012.
“Glen Matthews never dreamed when he set out to crowd-source his first film that it would premiere as part of the prestigious CBC Atlantic Shorts Gala at the Atlantic Film Festival tonight.
Room Service, written, directed and edited by Matthews, is the humorous tale of a middle-aged woman who barges into a motel room to confront her husband’s mistress, with unexpected consequences. It stars Vanessa Walton-Bone, Molly Dunsworth, Samantha Wilson and Mauralea Austin.
The four-minute film, shot in Halifax in two days in October 2011, screens alongside movies by Trailer Park Boys creator Mike Clattenburg and Emmy-nominated Andrea Dorfman.
Clattenburg’s short, Crackin’ Down Hard, was part of last week’s Toronto International Film Festival. Dorfman’s Big Mouth was released this spring at the Worldwide Short Film Festival.
“It’s exactly the film I set out to make,” says an excited Matthews, sitting in Starbucks in the Hydrostone Market.
The 26-year-old Lunenburg native is featured in the atmospheric short film Game, which screened Saturday at the festival. Halifax producer Angus Swantee won the 2011 CBC Film Nova Scotia Bridge Award for Game, written and directed by Josh MacDonald.
Matthews also starred in the awardwinning feature film The Corridor, written by Dartmouth’s MacDonald. It debuted at the 2010 Atlantic Film Festival and was a hit on the horror/fantasy film festival circuit.
With a resume that included The Corridor and the 2011 feature films Hobo With a Shotgun, Moby Dick and Roller Town, Matthews moved to Toronto to embark on a career as an actor.
“It didn’t pan out. I had problems finding a community, feeling the love, and I was really bummed out that I was not creating art.”
His girlfriend, actor-writer Kristin Slaney, was in Halifax, so when Matthews flew home last fall to shoot Game, he decided to also make Room Service, after writing the script in July 2011.
“I’d seen Vanessa (Walton-Bone) in a couple of plays, and when I decided to do a movie, I decided I’d base it around her. I have a large talent crush on her.”
Dunsworth, who starred in Hobo With a Shotgun, was a good friend.
“And Samantha and Mauralea taught me in theatre school, so it was weird asking if they’d be in a movie I directed. I wrote the parts for everyone in the film; they were my first choice. It felt so good that people were willing to take direction from me.”
Because of the support he felt in making the movie, which earned nearly $1,000 in contributions from friends in his online campaign, he decided to return home to live.
Dunsworth is in Toronto shooting a movie and Wilson is rehearsing Bryden MacDonald’s new comedy that opens Thursday at Chester Playhouse, so they won’t be at tonight’s screening at 7 p.m. at Park Lane Theatre.
But Walton-Bone, Austin and producer Andrew Hicks will join Matthews, who never contemplated an acting career when he was growing up.
“I was going to be a pro wrestler — and that’s kind of like acting. I moved to Halifax at 19 to pursue a career in graphic design and started taking classes at Neptune, and I met Jason Eisener and he put me in a film, so acting just happened to me.”
He starred in Eisener’s award-winning short Treevenge, as well as Hobo With a Shotgun.
On stage he received a Merritt Award nomination for leading actor for his starring turn as Logan in Logan and I, from The Doppler Effect theatre company. It debuted at the Queer Acts Theatre Festival in Halifax in 2010.
Matthews feels more connected to film than stage.
“I love both. Theatre is where you cut your teeth, and in film, you show what you learned. As an audience member, I’m more of a film fan than a theatre fan. I don’t feel confident enough to direct a full play, though I hope to one day.”
His next project is a play written by Slaney called Poem for the Smallest Boy that he and Austin will star in at Neptune’s Studio Theatre in November.