In a While

After the recent death of his wife, Russell is living on his own for the first time in four decades and not adjusting well to the change. Paul, a self- involved philosophy student, is asked to check on his grandfather while his parents are on vacation. Paul sees Russell in a different light through the fresh perspective of his engaging homecare nurse.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Jenna MacMillan
Producers: Jordan Tannahill, Andrew Sommerville, Sam Thomson

Filmmaker’s statement

In a While is inspired by the relationship of my late grandparents who were married for 56 years. Their marriage was one that I looked to as a model of a loving and healthy relationship.

When my grandmother went into a nursing home, my grandfather felt lost without her. Normally stoic, my grandfather became emotional when talking about living on his own for the first time in so many years. Although he had always been a role model for me, in that conversation I began to see him in a different light: vulnerable and heartbroken.

In this film I explore the complexities of aging and the myriad losses one must face in this stage of life.

Ultimately, my aim was to shed light on the sustenance of true love and the resilient nature and wisdom of the elderly.

It was important to me that Russell’s house look like a typical Maritime home. The kitchen tablecloth and playing cards were identical to those used in my grandparents’ house. We successfully converted my friend’s sparse Toronto apartment into the cozy lived-in home of an 80-year-old east coast man.

The film was made on a shoestring budget with an incredible and dedicated group of friends and filmmakers in 2009.”

About Jenna MacMillan

Jenna MacMillan

Jenna MacMillan is a director, writer and producer from Charlottetown, PEI, currently based in Toronto, Ontario.

She is a recent graduate of the film production program at Ryerson University and the owner of film and video production company Club Red Productions.

Jenna’s film Fine Tuning was commissioned by the City of Charlottetown for its 2011 designation as cultural capital of Canada and was screened at the Homburg Theatre in November, 2011.

Jenna’s short films Sweethearts and Fine Tuning both screened at the 2012 Island Media Arts Festival in the ‘Best of the Fest’ category. Jenna’s film Off Season was chosen for CBC’s 2010 Short Film Faceoff. This film and In a While were both shown at the 2010 Island Media Arts Festival and the 2010 Maximum Exposure Film Festival in Toronto.

Jenna works as the post production manager for Farmhouse Productions in Toronto. She frequently collaborates with independent record label Cameron House Records and has created lifestyle and music video pieces for artists such as Whitney Rose, Devin Cuddy and Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs.

4 comments

  1. Justin Oakey

    One of the most effective and professional pieces produced in our third year. I really enjoyed seeing it again – was just as warm as I remembered.

  2. To this day, I still love the writing in this film (That last line gets me) as well as your resonating theme of dealing with loss and observing the characters left behind with an unbiased lens. Congrats Jenna and best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

  3. Debbie Atkinson

    Wow Jenna, your description of the film is beautiful and very thoughtful. I would love to see the actual film. Congratulations on this. Please let us know when it will be shown on the Island.

  4. Olive Bryanton

    Congratulations Jenna I love the fact that you are doing a film on aging – Winston would love that too

Leave a comment