This past November, Makama Films and Tailored Films completed filming their feature-length, found-footage horror film Godforsaken in Harriston, Ontario – but not without their team of Toronto Film School alumni.
Following the release of his action feature Faceless (2016), which was filmed in Afghanistan with Humayoon Shams Khan, creator Ali Akbar Akbar Kamal and his partner Mariah MacDonald were more than eager to begin their next ominous thriller.
Godforsaken follows a group of filmmakers who, after witnessing bizarre events unfold at a funeral in small town Harriston, put themselves in the middle of the happenings, while also trying to unveil the facts and document everything.
Chad Tailor, who both co-produced and stars in the film, said he had established a “great working relationship” with his fellow Godforsaken filmmakers over the years.
“They had been up to my hometown many times and I feel proud that they liked it enough to write it in (to the film),” he said. “After getting the town on board, a ton of logistics, money and paperwork, we were set to go.”
Godforsaken’s key team worked with a modest crew of eight, including alumni Ho Che Anderson, Paul Viret, Sean Williams, Gloria Gift Nankunda, Delfin Jenn, Sara Fargo and current Writing student Danielle Fotheringham; nine cast members, including alumni Mélie B. Rondeau, Domenic Derose, Kate Fleming, Chris Kelly, and current fifth term Acting student Angela Thomson; as well as approximately 80 local extras.
For many townspeople, Godforsaken exhibited a new world of film and acting. Tailor cast several supporting roles through Harriston’s community theatre group, the Grey-Wellington Theatre Guild.
“I know I would have loved the chance to do this when I was living there as a kid and teen, so it makes me happy knowing that we may have sparked the film bug in some of them,” Tailor said.
Kamal fully funded the film with a budget of less than $40,000 and plans to submit Godforsaken to all horror genre festivals beginning in 2020.