Hard times have made Sean Cisterna resourceful.
The Toronto-based filmmaker produced his first feature, My Brother's Keeper in 2004 and his first television feature, King of the Camp in 2007. Each had budgets of under $1 million.
"With the 2008 financial collapse, my budget plummeted even further but that somehow stoked my creative fire. In 2010 I produced Moon Point, an oddball comedy about a guy who seeks out his grade school crush with the only transportation he has--an electric wheelchair."
Moon Point is all quirk. It won awards at festivals across Canada and the US before it sold to The Movie Network. The film premieres in Moscow this month.
"Most people consider the financial collapse a hindrance but I've actually enjoyed working on a shoestring. Problem solving through creativity rather than with cash goes to show that it's not a huge budget that makes a good film; it's the story."
Cisterna's current project 30 Ghosts, is about a rural horse farmer who sets out to prove that ghosts exist. Hot Docs believes in the project so much that they got on board to help finish production through the Doc Ignite program (the Canadian crowd-funding site). If you're interested in viewing footage and/or making a contribution go to www.hotdocs.ca/docignite/project/30Ghosts.