It's hard to say what's the most intriguing part of Randall Okita's upcoming feature film debut: The trailer, or the methods used to create the film. The trailer speaks for itself. It's a gorgeously shot piece of work that promises a haunting and unsettling vision of the teen experience. There's a vision here, that's abundantly clear, and Okita appears to have brought that vision to the screen with just the right amount of force.
And then there's the methodology. Already highly acclaimed in Canada for his short film work, Okita took a very unique approach to his debut feature. The production set up in a live, functioning high school as a sort of long term art project. Students were not only aware that a film was being made in their midst as they went about their regular lives, they were actively encouraged to participate. Non-professionals - i.e. students from the school - were cast in key roles both behind and in front of the camera, including as the lead actor. The production office was set up in the art room with students encouraged to come in and talk and learn what they could about the process. For thirty four shooting days the film was an active part of the student community, all of which factors strongly into the feeling of authenticity here. It feels real because it is.
After the death of a friend, teen thief Hashi fantasizes about getting out of town. When his closest friend is victimized by violence, Hashi is forced to choose between fighting back and becoming what he fears, or saving himself and leaving behind everyone and everything he knows.
Already confirmed at the Vancouver International Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, New Jersey Film Festival, Sudbury Cinefest, Charlotte Film Festival and West Virginia FILMmakers Festival, The Lockpicker is off to a strong start and we're proud to premiere the first trailer here.