Update Sunday, Oct. 5.
Darren writes to BayToday, "Just an update that the film just won Best Canadian Student Film at the festival! The film beat out 18 others in the category."
Local filmmaker Darren Summersby's short film "What Comes Next – The Musical" will be available for audiences to enjoy this week as the 1st annual Ontario International Film Festival goes virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The film was created as part of Summersby’s final thesis at Sheridan College in Oakville.
The film follows a driven young woman who is trapped in a choice between her boyfriend and her lifelong dream after she receives a promotion to New York. It's the first-ever musical film produced in the thesis year at Sheridan College in the Honours Bachelor of Film and Television program.
"It gained attention due to its ambitious production scale and scope and was a success becoming one of the top films created at Sheridan in the 2019/20 school year," says Summersby in a news release.
Shot in December 2019, it wrapped post-production at the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. With an unsure Film Festival circuit ahead, the team submitted to several international film festivals that were moved to online or held private screenings.
As of October, What Comes Next has been selected into 11 film festivals internationally and gone on to win best film awards at the New York Movie Awards, Europe Film Festival, Best Shorts Competition, and the Berlin Flash Film Festival, plus becoming a finalist at several others.
This week will be the first opportunity for audiences to watch on a public platform for free. What Comes Next will be part of the Canadian Student Film Section of the Ontario International Film Festival. Originally planned for physical screenings, the festival moved to an online platform to create a safe way for audiences to enjoy a wide variety of short and feature-length films.
What Comes Next will be available for free streaming starting tomorrow at noon and will go until 11:45 pm on Sunday, October 25.
You can find the link to stream here.
Summersby, who directed and co-wrote the film, grew up in North Bay and is no stranger to the art scene. He took part in over 50 theatre productions in North Bay with Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, Theatre Out Reach On Stage, and Summer Challenge, and involved in several short and feature films shot in northern Ontario.
He attended Widdifield Secondary School where the one of kind media arts program led him to find a passion for behind the scenes of the film industry. In grade 12 he competed at the Skills Ontario Competition in the Film and Television Production category representing the Near North District School Board, winning gold and went on to represent Team Ontario at the National level.
“I am grateful for the opportunity I was given while at Widdifield that let me find my passion to go to Sheridan and grow into the storyteller that I am today," says Summersby. "What Comes Next is a love letter to my love for musical theatre with all experiences while performing live on stage in the community.”
The film plans to go public in early 2021. The trailer can be viewed here. or below.