When the grade four class pet goes missing, self-proclaimed sleuth Samuel Stapleton takes the case, uncovering playground secrets and classroom conspiracies in his search for the beloved guinea pig.
Writer/director: Luke Grandmont
Producers: Kyle Giardino, Jeremy Landon, Nicholas Palinka, Luke Grandmont
The premise was simple enough: film noir in grade four.
For The Maltese Guinea Pig we used classic film noir tropes with a family-friendly twist. While the story is grounded in reality our protagonist, Samuel, brings us into his world of fantasy, a world where he’s a smooth-talking, hard-boiled detective. Naturally, there are playground lies and betrayals and even a femme fatale (or two).
For me, the film isn’t just about the search for Sprinkles. It’s about a boy clinging on to the thing he loves most – his imagination. Throughout the film Samuel is all alone on his journey to find out who stole the class pet.
His classmates are of no help nor is his best friend and partner-in-crime (solving), Charlie. Charlie is less interested in playing the game of detective and would rather play on his cellphone. We find that Samuel struggles to hold onto his childhood while the rest of the class moves on.
About Luke Grandmont
Born and raised in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Luke Grandmont first pursued filmmaking by attending Confederation College’s film production program in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
After working on independent narrative and documentary work in the north, Luke relocated to Toronto where he now works as a camera assistant in film and television, pursuing personal film projects on the side.
Luke’s recent films, The Maltese Guinea Pig – a family film about a young detective on the search for the missing class pet – and A Piece of the Pie – a short comedy about three soldiers sharing their post war plans – have both found success in film festivals worldwide.
His previous work, The Last Straw, also screened in various international festivals, winning the best animation award at Cinefest International Film Festival’s best in shorts competition.