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Making 'em laugh

PREVIEW The Big Bank Theory Special Squamish Screening Saturday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m.


The Big Bank Theory

Special Squamish Screening

Saturday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m.

Eagle Eye Theatre

During the full year it took to write, cast, direct and produce her new feature film The Big Bank Theory (BBT), Squamish movie maven Adriane Polo had one goal in mind.

"It's all about touching people on an emotional level, on making them laugh," she said. "I hope the people who see the film are touched by the characters and how they look at the world. I hope they have fun for an hour and a half."

In the movie, a silly, slapstick comedy modelled after the likes of Dumb and Dumber and Dude, Where's My Car?, the two main characters set out on a holy mission - a do-the-right-thing duty to return stolen money to a church.

Along the way, however, their plan gets compromised by a multitude of bizarre characters hot on their trail, each with their own score to settle.

The feature-length film was shot entirely in the Sea to Sky corridor, with the majority of filming done in Squamish in large part due to Polo's affinity for her adopted home town.

"Squamish is unparalleled in terms of locations and the support of the people and community," she says. "You simply cannot do something like this without the support of the community. That's the main reason why I choose to film in Squamish - it wouldn't have been the same movie if shot somewhere else."

Unlike most other feature productions, none of the street names, storefronts or restaurants at any of the locations have been changed - Squamish is Squamish in the movie.

Polo describes the film as a "pie-in-the-face" comedy - a silly, fun road-trip adventure.

Financing for BBT came from industry investments, corporate donations, producer's equity and contributions from the communities of Squamish, Britannia Beach and Whistler.

"I put a lot of money into it myself," Polo said. "You have to take the risk if you ask others to take a risk. And because you live in a small community and make a film like this, it's important to set an example."

Polo has been a Squamish resident for eight years, moving here with her husband and three children from Vancouver after pursuing careers in real estate and theatre production.

"We moved here because we wanted a quiet and safe place, somewhere more community oriented," she said. "I choose to live here because of the people."

Polo has studied television production at BCIT in the 1980s, and has always had a passion for drama and story-telling. Upon arriving in Squamish, she immediately became involved with the arts council, the local cable station, organized a theatre group and has run the Sea to Sky Film Festival for the past eight years.

A special screening of The Big Bank Theory is set for Saturday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. at the Eagle Eye Theatre. Polo plans to enter BBT into several major film festivals to shop it around for a distribution deal.

"Making The Big Bank Theory," said Polo, "was a journey from nothingness. You start with this idea in mind and everything slowly starts to take shape. By finding people along the way, the film starts to come to life. The actors bring the characters to life each in their own way, and everything just comes together. It was a journey from beginning to end."

Tickets ($8 adults, $6 students/seniors) for the screening are available at Mostly Books and Highland Video or at the door at the Eagle Eye Theatre an hour before showtime.

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