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Jonas ChernickBy BERNIE BELLAN
Four years ago Winnipeg-born Jonas Chernick found great success with a movie which he both wrote and starred in – as well as helped produce, titled “My Awkward Sexual Adventure.”


Winnipeggers enjoyed picking out some well-known locations that were featured in that movie, such as the Fort Garry Hotel; as well, many locals had cameo roles and it was fun to recognize them while watching what was also a very entertaining  - and a very bawdy movie.
Starting April 15, once again Winnipeggers are going to be able to enjoy watching another Jonas Chernick movie – this time one shot almost entirely in Manitoba – (also this time the film does not pretend to be set anywhere but Manitoba). But, let’s admit it: We tend to treat locally produced movies and television shows differently than those produced elsewhere. I’m sure that a good many Winnipeggers will sit through a local production that they would have turned off much earlier had they known it was made somewhere else. We tend to give passing grades to local productions that probably wouldn’t pass muster elsewhere.
That wasn’t the case with “My Awkward Sexual Adventure”, however, which went on to win numerous awards in addition to scoring well at the box office (and on pay per view sites). I especially got a kick out of finding out from Chernick that “Adventure” had the third best opening for a film in Lithuania. (Can anyone explain that?)
This time around though, Chernick has written a much more serious film that still contains many moments of levity. It’s also a touching story about a father (played by Chernick) and daughter (played by the marvelous Joey King) coming to terms with their difficult relationship during the course of a crazy road trip that takes them all the way from Winnipeg to Churchill with many detours on the way. (Of course, anyone familiar with Manitoba geography will immediately recognize the impossibility of the route the movie traces, as for instance, when the trip goes from Dauphin to the South Beach Casino, then on to Flin Flon. Still, it’s great fun seeing so many Manitoba venues featured in a film that aren’t meant to be substitutes for other locations.)
In an e-mail I received from Chernick, he wrote that “I’m very pleased to announce that my new film, BOREALIS, which I wrote, produced and star in, is opening across Canada, including an April 15th opening at Grant Park Cinemas in Winnipeg.

“I star in the film opposite Kevin Pollak (Usual Suspects, A Few Good Men) and Joey King (Fargo, Wish I Was Here). The movie has done very well for us thus far...

“We played to sold-out houses at many Canadian festivals, including winning a Special Jury Mention for Best Performance (Joey King) at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and rave reviews at Montreal World Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Edmonton International Film Festival, Cinefest Sudbury, Kingston Canadian Film Festival… and a Canadian Screen Award nomination (the first one for ANY of my and Sean’s collaborations). You can check out those reviews, and a trailer, at www.borealisthemovie.com.
“Meanwhile, we’re gearing up for the theatrical release, which will see the film play in over ten cities across the country.”

We’ll have much more about “Borealis” in our March 30 issue, including a lengthy interview with Jonas Chernick.