Bearhug

In a small Canadian town, three living teddy bears deliver bad news. From an overdue bill to losing a job, their ‘bear hug’ can make troubles vanish. After discovering she’s been dumped, Madison, has never felt better – all thanks to the bears.

Soon, Madison begins to sabotage her own life, along with the rest of the town. With junkies desperate for hugs, a violent riot forces the teddy bears back into the woods. As the mob goes through withdrawal, Madison creates the first batch of small, furry bears, as something to get by on.

With this band-aid solution in place, the teddy bears arrive back with re-enforcements, only to discover they’ve been replaced.

Creative team

Writer: Blain Watters
Director: J. Adam Brown
Producers: Geoff Lapaire, Davin Lengyel

Director’s statement

J. Adam Brown says:

“Origin stories seem to fascinate people – after all, what’s more interesting than seeing how something unique came to be that way? In the closing moments of the film when Madison creates the original teddy bear, there’s a satisfaction in seeing that: this is how teddy bears came to be – albeit in a sinister and fictitious way.

I’ve always wanted to tell a story that doesn’t try to sway an audience’s opinion on a layered issue but presents an interesting talking point, objectively. I believe there are more questions that arise from this story than answers. Madison finds herself addicted to a world without bad news. Her motivations are similar to that of a drug addict looking to escape reality. But what if the drug doesn’t have any negative repercussions on her life? What if it truly is just a bad news eraser, similar to Robert Solomon’s idea of the ‘Happiness Box?

It’s clear that the bears intentions are altruistic, and the results of their practice have undeniable benefits, so why not let people enjoy them? Some might argue, for example, that Madison loses the relativity of experience. Some wouldn’t. That’s what I like about this story. The watching of it is engrossing, and afterward people weigh in on where they stand.

The tone is not that of a standard fairy tale  We’re trying to break conventions of the genre to create something akin to an adult fairy tale where the bad news our world faces has one magical element at the centre of it all. There is no doubt that element is well intentioned, but whether it’s ‘good’ is up to the audience.”

About J. Adam Brown

J.-Adam-Brown

Over the course of the last decade J. Adam Brown has starred in over 35 television and film projects, most recently a recurring role on MuchMusic’s Degrassi. After graduating from Ryerson’s film studies, he has been working in television development and production.

Mr. Brown is currently travelling the festival circuit with his independent fiction short, Bearhug, starring Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) who was voted one of TIFF’s Rising Stars at the 2011 festival.

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