"Airplane," "Barbershop," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"... sometimes it is easy to anticipate the setting of a film from its title.
The short film "Pawnshop" shares that trait. The film - about an encounter between a pawnshop owner and a young man in search of an engagement ring - is set to be screened as part of the opening night of the Nickel Independent Film Festival in St. John's. The screening starts Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the LSPU Hall.
"Pawnshop" was created in Halifax, under the Atlantic Filmmakers Co-operative - the Halifax equivalent of the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers' Co-operative (NIFCO) - Film 5 program, sponsoring new works.
It has been screened steadily on the festival circuit since playing in 2008 at the Atlantic Film Festival. Stops for the short have included the 2009 Miami Short Film Festival, the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto and the CBC TV Short Film Faceoff.
Despite the reach of the film to date, producer Angus Swantee said the setting-obvious "Pawnshop" had some troubles on the road to completion, specifically when it comes to its namesake location.
"We went to talk to these guys who had a pawnshop on Agricola Street here and they were really interested because they wanted to kind of recreate some things that they'd gone through, they've had some weird experiences of course, right. So they were really into this fact that a movie might be made in their pawnshop. So we had a deal with them to go ahead and shoot in there," he said.
"But what happened was about a month before the shoot we went back to them and they were gone. The place was empty. I tracked down the owner of the place, the actual building owner. He was looking to get rid of it, it wasn't in the greatest of shape, but he agreed to let us shoot the film there. So we had to clear out all this crap and bring in new stuff."
The production pulled through successfully, thanks to the efforts of Swantee and team - including director Andrew Bush and writer Evany Rosen, both of the Halifax-based comedy troupe Picnicface (www.picnicface.com). There is also cinematographer Christopher Por-ter, who brought another of his films, "ZedCrew," to the Cannes Film Festival this past April.
Meanwhile, Swantee said the acceptance of "Pawnshop" into so many festivals since its completion has provided exposure to help with future projects of all involved. He is currently working with Bush and fellow producer Mark Almon on an original web series. They are finalists in an independent competition for web series funding, set to provide one million dollars to establish as many as eight new Canadian series on the Internet. "There's three Nova Scotian teams have made it into the final 26 and we're one of them," Swantee said.
Simultaneous to the web work, he said, Almon has a feature film in the works in Halifax.
"Our plan is just to keep going down that path, producing features," he said. "The shorts were the learning experience and the features are where we want to go."
The Nickel film festival includes film screenings every day through Sunday.
For a complete schedule, go to: