Cheese

Buying cheese becomes a struggle of wits, strength (and maybe even begrudging respect) for one young woman who has put herself in the game.

Creative team

Writer/director: Hannah Cheesman
Producer: Mackenzie Donaldson

Filmmaker’s statement

This film is loosely based on true events, mostly surrounding my lack of knowledge when it comes to cheese, and my anxiety when shopping for it.

It’s also a light-hearted story that could be transposed to numerous locations: fine wine stores, a car mechanic shop and other ‘niche’ spaces where knowledge is power, and the possessor of that power has the ability to use it to good or harmful ends.

Setting up a power dynamic that can and does play out in the real world, I amplified this by bringing it into the comedic genre. The story itself is supposed to be an absurdist one where a woman overcomes a bully’s jockeying for power by using his rules to play his game.

But the outcome is not ‘woman beats man.’ They actually both lose out, for the mere fact that they both engage in a pointless power struggle where ‘winning’ is impossible.

The piece was shot in one night for $750 courtesy of the ACTRA co-op agreement, and thanks to the talent of DP Cabot McNenly, producer Mackenzie Donaldson, a fine group of actors (Natalie Lisinska, Tony Nappo, Lindsay Owen Pierre, Calwyn Shurgold), our editor (Jackie Roda) and a few other people who came on board to help.

One thing is for sure: in securing the location, my last name was most definitely a coup.

About Hannah Cheesman

Hannah Cheesman

Hannah Cheesman is a writer, filmmaker and CSA-nominated actor who makes up half of Aberrant Pictures, a production company formed alongside Mackenzie Donaldson (producer, Orphan Black).

Hannah cut her teeth as co-creator/writer/star of critically acclaimed and CSA-nominated web series Whatever, Linda and was named a TIFF 2014 Irving Avrich Emerging Canadian Filmmaker.

Hannah’s shorts have shown at Cannes, Palm Springs and Whistler, and she and Mackenzie currently contribute a monthly Globe and Mail feature series examining what it means to be a female filmmaker at the intersection of new and traditional media.

Up next, Aberrant Pictures optioned and will be producing Susan Swan’s novel The Western Light alongside Clique Picture’s Lauren Grant (Wet Bum, Picture Day), for which Hannah will pen the adaptation and take a leading role.

Aberrant also went to camera in fall 2014 for The Definites, a movie about female desire, sexuality and grief, set at Art Basel in Miami (to be completed in fall 2015), and will be going to camera with their forthcoming BravoFACT short film, Boxing (directed by Aidan Shipley and Grayson Matthews).

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