When you see the high heels stuck in the sand near the Marina, you know that this is not a typical travel promotion video. Nor did the judges at the 2019 Knowlton Film Festival who voted “Blending In”, a film by local filmmaker Rugge Thomson and his partner Tatyana Kondratova, the winner in the short film category.

The film began as a result of a call for movies in 2014 by a Dunham based organization called Le Bocal. They asked filmmakers to make travel films about their local communities. Thomson did not want to make the usual travel film filled with sunsets, lakes and happy people. He wanted to create a story. There was a struggle, but Thomson made the film he wanted anyway.

“Blending In” uses a journey along a local trail, to illustrate the transformation of a stranger into a local. Intercut, as she makes this transition, are comments by well-known locals about strangers and Knowlton.

It’s an artistic paradox that such a gem of a film was made in only two days and edited in only one. “I worked with a few friends, and we all laughed for two days,” commented Thomson. “The film just seemed to make itself. I liked it, but I did not know how well it would be received.”

Thomson was so nervous at the premiere at St-Armand that he brought his father to the screening for moral support. They sat at the back, ready to run out if it all went wrong. Instead, people started laughing the moment that they saw the high heels and never stopped until they sighed with pleasure at the sweet ending.

Blending In from vanrugge on Vimeo.