For years, Susan Rodgers called the movie percolating in the back of her brain “the hockey film.” Now, the P.E.I. author and filmmaker has firmed up plans for the movie, and named her creation Still the Water.
Now in the development stage, the movie will be Rodgers first feature-length — approximately 90 minutes — drama, with a “very substantial” budget.
“The title refers to stilling the chaos in your heart and in your soul,” explained Rodgers. Still water can also be ice, noted Rodgers from her home in Summerside, P.E.I.
‘There’s a lot of interest and a lot of commitment has already been made — enough for us to know we can do this project and do it on a grand scale.’
— Susan Rodgers, filmmaker
The film is built on the story of two hockey-loving brothers in rural P.E.I., who live under the thumb of an abusive, alcoholic father. The film picks up as a decade later, as one of the brothers returns home to reconnect. A climax is a fishing boat accident — based on a true story — in which one of the brothers must make a difficult choice.
It weaves in the story of a single mother — Rodgers was a single mom for years — whose son is abducted by his father.
“It’s a Prince Edward Island story, but it has universal themes — it’s not just the hockey and the fishing boat, but the whole story of family and hope and forgiveness and not hanging on to things that can pull you under,” she said.
‘Nobody’s doing this for the money’
The plan is to begin shooting in P.E.I. in April 2018, and is now refining the script and casting the lead roles. Rodgers plans to travel to Toronto and Vancouver in August for call-back auditions.
“We can’t afford the A-list stars, at this point — obviously not — but we’ve got enough of a budget that we can bring YouTube breakout stars…