I’ve been familiar with Toronto writer Jim Munroe’s work for at least the past ten years. We both attended York University in the early 90s and both of us signed up to work on existere, a literary magazine. Only Jim never showed up, and I somehow always remembered his name. (Incidentally, existere is also where I met Brett Lamb, now Art Director for the Hot Docs festival.) Jim went on to (modest) fame and (modest-er) fortune as a novelist. After his first novel Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask was released by HarperCollins in 1999, he decided to self-publish the rest of his work, and has built an amazing resource for anyone looking at DIY publishing. Now, he’s turned his attention to filmmaking.
Infest Wisely was a collaborative effort from start to finish. Billed as “lo-fi sci-fi”, the film consists of seven separate episodes which together comprise a complete feature film. Munroe wrote the entire film, but each episode was directed by a different director, and everyone worked for nothing. What’s the story? “There’s a new, chewable nanotechnology that lets you take photos with your eyes, cures cancer and eliminates body odour. But the early adopters are realizing they got extra ‘features’ they didn’t count on. And no one told them once they spread through the bloodstream, it’s harder to uninstall than your average computer virus.”
If the film, or the concept, sounds interesting to you, there are several ways to see the film. First and best, the film will be screening on Friday May 18th at 7:00pm at Innis Town Hall here in Toronto. Tickets are $5 for “Key Infestors” at the door with all proceeds going to pay for the film’s entry fees to various film festivals. If you’re not local, Munroe will be releasing the film for free via BitTorrent and podcast beginning May 20th, and there will be a DVD available at some point as well, which will include a useful commentary from the filmmakers with lots of DIY advice.
Look for a review of the film here soon.