• By: Sofia Donato

Celebrate local artists in the short film, Dirt Town

Celebrate Canadians through the upcoming Ottawa-based short film, Dirt Town, directed by Lisa Meuser, the founder of The Meus Talent Agency.

Dirt Town, a film about the discovery of Canada, explores the themes of heartache and bravery. A woman (Maissa Houri) is brought across Canada, alongside her lover, played by Bart Rochon, for his dream job, leaving hers behind. Rochon is described to captivate the audience through his eloquence and charisma.

The film is a representation of hardships and the struggle to overcome obstacles. Maissa Houri, lead actress, describes how “Taking on this role was very important to me because I’ve known so many women in similar situations. It starts out as a romantic love story and ends up being about self-discovery, strength and independence. Working with our small team was an incredible experience. We really understood each other and knew what the vision was.”

The film will be submitted for screening across Canada, including the Toronto International Film Festival. There will be an upcoming announcement for a local screening.

Maissa Houri is one of the Co-Founders and Director of Industry Events for Eve Film Festival. Houri is in the process of post-production of her new series, Dirty Love, which she stars in, as well. Bart Rochon, a Polish – Canadian who plays the lover in the film, studied in Los Angeles at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Rochon is currently based in Toronto and is known for his capability to entice the audience and his mission is to inspire his viewers through his films. Ramy Raphael, an Ottawa based cinematographer and director, is known for his unique style that incorporates dreamy tones and focuses on small details.

Raphael explains “As a cinematographer, it’s important to be able to take a beautiful script and translate it visually into a stunning film. This is an ongoing lifetime learning experience for me. When director Lisa Meuser provided me with the script for her film Dirt Town, my mind could easily see all the nostalgia and flashbacks of the late 1980s. It was essentially a Canadian film in its purest form. After many meetings between the director and I, we agreed to film all the scenes using a simple camera and emphasize heavily on earthy colour palette such as deep shades of blue, warm yellows, and beige/brown nuances. This ended up giving the film a solid skeleton and a very unique cinematic atmosphere."

Lisa Meuser states that "Nothing is more therapeutic then seeing your writing come to life on screen. I am grateful to be have such a small but mighty team that can take a low budget film and turn it into one that looks like a million dollars. Lots of heart goes into independent films and it's funny how no one talks about how amazing the film community is here in Ottawa."

Celebrate local artists in the short film Dirt Town, by Lisa Meuser, which focuses on love and heartbreak as a woman travels across the country.