Cameras roll on Michelle Latimer’s latest short

Writer-director Latimer plans to submit her short film The Underground to Cannes.
michelle latimer

Principal photography has begun on the short film The Underground, the latest project from writer-director Michelle Latimer.

The film, based on Canadian author Rawi Hage’s Cockroach, follows the story of an Iranian refugee who faces his disillusionment with North American life by imaging himself as a cockroach.

Latimer received the rights to make the book into a movie last February, and the project was then accepted into the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize program, she told Playback.

The short film – which will run between 10 and 12 minutes – will be shot in various locations in Toronto over three days. Latimer expects to have a cut of the production ready by early March so it can be submitted to Cannes.

“It’s like any short film – you don’t really know what you have until you finish it. We’ll submit to all the festivals and see how it does,” Latimer said.

Latimer’s previous projects include Alias, which follows the stories of Toronto rappers trying to escape the gangster life through music, and Choke, a short, stop-motion animated film that tells the story of a fictional young man leaving his home on a First Nations reservation for the city.

The Underground is produced by Tara Woodbury and Kerry Swanson, and executive produced by Paul Devonshire and Danis Goulet. Guy Godfree is director of photography and Omar Hady plays the lead role.

The film is supported by CBC, the National Film Board, Amaze Film + Television, and the Toronto Arts Council.