Surrey-raised director Rami Kahlon returned to a familiar school to shoot “Odd Girl,” a short thriller set to debut on a key online portal for such films.
The majority of the 13-minute short was done at L.A. Matheson Secondary, where Kahlon attended from Grade 8 through 12.
Back in November 2018, the school locations included the courtyard, classrooms, theatre room, dark room and hallways.
“The film itself is about exclusion in high school and the chilling extent that the ostracized (character) takes to get their revenge,” Kahlon explained.
“It’s a supernatural thriller but the tone is set in reality, highlighting common issues such as loneliness and depression that is prevalent during the teenage years.”
On June 14, “Odd Girl” will premiere internationally on ALTER, a horror film network that boasts more than 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube, 3.7 million followers on Facebook and potentially millions of views per video.
To date, Kahlon’s film has earned some awards and accolades at a few film festivals.
“The success of this film has inspired me to keep making more films and I have recently been awarded a Canada Council grant to write a feature film screenplay on India prior to independence,” Kahlon told the Now-Leader. “I will be spending this year and next year reading articles and books on the experience of colonialism in India. As for acting, I will be shooting two independent films this summer.”
With the tag line, “She’s dying to fit in,” “Odd Girl” features actors Kayla Janelle Tellier, Jacq Ainsworth, Michael Edwards, Trevor Horne, Taylor Kare, Phoebe Miu, Sachi Nisbet, Demelza Randall and Parmiss Sehat. More details are posted to imdb.com.
The film is written, directed and executive-produced by Kahlon, who first got into acting after participating in the theatre program at L.A. Matheson.
“This experience pushed me to pursue the arts full-time,” she said. “After high school, I studied at various local institutions in Vancouver and South Surrey. Since then, I’ve acted in movies for MTV and Walt Disney, and been in local TV shows including ‘Supernatural,’ where I got to play an angel, and ‘Van Helsing,’ where I got to live out my Edward Cullen-inspired lifelong dream of playing a vampire. Recently, I had the pleasure of acting opposite Peter Dinklage in the independent feature film ‘American Dreamer,’ which was shot in Victoria and will be released next year.”
With the encouragement of a friend, Kahlon wrote the screenplay of “Odd Girl” and, with the help of some local filmmakers, made the film during a three-day period.
“I had (L.A. Matheson) in mind when initially writing the screenplay,” she noted, “and was ecstatic to learn that filming there was a possibility. Gurpreet Bains and Annie Ohana, both teachers from L.A. Matheson, helped make sure that my team and I were able to book the school for the filming dates. Since the film highlights the suburban high school experience, L.A. Matheson really was the perfect location. Not only did the screenplay and location match up thematically, but I also had the exact layout of the school in mind when writing, which made the actual filming much easier.”