I discovered a number of stories from formerly missing children, now adults, who were coping with a state of profound identity loss.
—Paula Kelly, filmmaker
Winnipeg filmmaker Paula Kelly tells two road stories in the coming-of-age drama Euphoria
One where a little girl is kidnapped by her mother and another where an adult who was kidnapped by her mother when she was a child traces her life back to the fictional town of Euphoria after discovering her father is still alive.
Her inspiration for this film came from a poster of a missing boy wearing a red plaid shirt she saw years ago when she was working in the Exchange District.
"The image of that boy stayed with me for a long time. I'm a very curious person, so I started doing some research into missing children," said Kelly.
"I discovered a number of stories from formerly missing children, now adult
s, who were coping with a state of profound identity loss."
"These stories were very powerful and, for me, expressive of the desire for belonging. I found myself imagining a town called Euphoria which is really just a name for that yearning to belong somewhere. And a girl who was trying to find her way there."
Taya Dawn Ayotte Bourns plays the younger character of Lily in her feature film debut.
"I was nine when we were filming, but now I'm almost 11, so I think the hardest part for me was to try to remember what it was like to be 6 years old," said Ayotte Bourns.
"It was my first speaking role and first time playing a character, so I had to remember to act younger all the time," she said.
Ayotte Bourns has already found success in local radio commercials, some extra work, and has already been scouted by Hollywood. She returns to Los Angeles later this month to meet with an executive producer, casting directors and agencies.
"I can't ever remember not singing or putting on some sort of play for my family," said Ayotte Bourns.
"I wanted to learn how to play guitar and be on TV like That's So Raven
or Hannah Montana
. I started my lessons when I was eight and got the role of Lily after my second audition. I was so excited I did cartwheels in my living room!" Euphoria premieres on Super Channel on March 13 at 7 pm.