17th Annual Filmi!
Filmi Toronto’s South Asian Film Festival Celebrating 17 Years!
December 2nd – December 3rd, 2016
7:30PM Shorts Programme
JUST A PRAYER
Directed by Caris Reid
Length: 12:55 Minutes
‘Just A Prayer’ follows the story of Anita, a Muslim woman who seems to have everything, but who is deeply dissatisfied with her life and the path she sees ahead of herself. She makes a major decision that she believes will bring her happiness and opportunity, but that only brings her unexpected regret. Anita finds solace through a Catholic group, and a few years later, we find her living in a convent as a novice nun. The film is grounded in the present, but flows between her life now as a novice, and the events of five years ago.
Despite the controversial themes the story engages with, ‘Just A Prayer’ is not an examination of any particular issue or religion, but more a study of one woman who is stuck living in a pattern of discontent; who lets her need to escape fuel her decisions; who despite all the faith and structure and community she surrounds herself with, is always trying to find a way not to feel so alone.
Writer, Executive Producer and Lead Actor, Farah Merani has teamed up with an incredible roster of talent for Just A Prayer.
Director Caris Reid has a background in Camera Operating, Assistant Producing and Assistant Directing. Reid is an avid screenwriter and storyteller, having had a short script, Be There, selected as part of the development series ‘Writing Women’ where she met Merani and Producer, Lauren MacKinlay. Be There will be Reid’s 2nd piece of produced writing. Reid also wrote, directed and produced her first short film last year, The Personality of Numbers. Just A Prayer is Caris’ 2ndShort film as a Director.
Producer Lauren MacKinlay studied at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London UK, where she received an MA in Acting For Screen. Recently, MacKinlay served as Lead Producer with Merani for the Writing Women Screenplay Development Series, an extension of the Blue Flame Collective dedicated to female-focused films. MacKinlay is an Associate Artist of the Blue Flame Collective and a professional actress, working on the stage and screen in Toronto since 2009. She has also enjoyed producing 6 short films to date, including Kiss, for which she wrote, executive produced and served as lead actress.
Producer Kirsten Dahlin Nolan enjoys moving through mediums looking for the best way to tell stories. She grew up a dancer and musician, and later found strengths in acting and writing. Dahlin Nolan balances her creative roles with behind-the-scenes work as a Casting Associate in film and television, and a First AD on the award-winning web-series Gay Nerds. Kirsten is proud to play Producer for the first time on Just A Prayer.
Farah Merani – Anita
Huse Madhavji – Aleem
Karen Ivany – Sister Claudette
Janice Giles – Tamara
Kirsten Dahlin Nolan – Novice Gabrielle
Lauren MacKinlay – Novice Katherine
Writer, Executive Producer and Lead Actor, Farah Merani
Farah Merani is a graduate of the Drama Centre London, London UK and holds a degree from Trinity College, University of Toronto. Upon returning to Canada in 2012, she joined the Blue Flame Collective and was the Lead Producer on the 2013 Slate entitled Village Global. She is also presently developing her first feature film, Goodnight, Amherst, slated for production in 2014 under her production company, Lifeguard Productions, as well as several other short film projects. As a professional actress, she has performed on stage and screen on both sides of the Atlantic, including at Shakespeare’s Globe, The Barbican, The Old Vic Tunnels, and the Arcola Theatre in London. Her TV credits include: BBC’s That’s English, The Listener, Lost Girl, Nikita, and Covert Affairs.