“Everyone’s connected,” says Peter as he shares some of his lessons to the audience regarding his travels through time and space. This interconnectedness is displayed in various ways throughout The Godchild.
The Godchild is a 2010 indie film by Canadian independent film director Philip Spink, which stars Kari Townsend, Steve Dhillon, Riah Fielding-Walters, Michael Heltay, Grant Spink and Hazel Valdez. This independent film features an all-Albertan cast and crew. The themes of interconnectivity, love, loss, fear and truth are clearly communicated in this work.
The Godchild Plot
Peter, played by Grant Spink, is a young boy from the Midwest. His godmother (and guardian) has been missing for quite some time. On what seems to be a normal day at school, Peter’s class is discussing Pompeii. When Kate, the teacher, compliments Peter on his drawing of ancient Roman columns, Peter informs her “I am there now.” In this way, the “mystery of Peter” is introduced.
As Sister Beth Myers, played by Kari Townsend, along with Peter’s teachers (Riah Fielding-Walters and Hazel Valdez) doctor (Steve Dhillon) and lawyer (Michael Heltay) attempt to solve the mystery behind Peter’s “episodes,” they are drawn into his world and are forced to face their own inner demons in the process. No character remains unchanged at the end of the journey.
Well Paced and Well Balanced Story in The Godchild
Although Grant Spink (Knights of Bloodsteel) plays the central character Peter in The Godchild, the true “star” of the movie is the story itself. There are four interconnected stories that weave around Peter's story. For the most part, these are well balanced, giving each leading actor a chance to shine, without seeming contrived.
Philip Spink captured the fleeting emotions on each character’s face effectively through lighting and camerawork as they wrestled with their thoughts and fears. The transformation from shock to disbelief to fear was artfully done when Kate is transported away from the school. Riah Fielding-Walters (The Wizard's Christmas) does a spectacular job of projecting those emotions through only her eyes.
The lighting was especially effective when Steve Dhillon (Money, ODC, 419: The Nigerian Scam) as the guilt-ridden doctor faced himself in his apartment. The theatre felt chillier with the dim steel blue lighting and the haunting strains of the soundtrack.
If anything, more information on Kate’s back story would have brought a bit more depth to her character. The doctor’s story did receive more screen time, but also could have been fleshed out just a bit more, although for both characters, the essentials were covered for their stories.
Michael Heltay as Bernie (Knights of Bloodsteel) and Hazel Valdez as Sister Valdez also deliver strong performances in the film. Valdez even injects a bit of Filipino cultural humour into one scene.
The movie soundtrack weaves into the story seamlessly. The melancholy minimalist themes enhance the character's emotions beautifully, from angst to frustration and from sadness to desperation.
The soundtrack is scored by Canadians James Guttridge (Voyage of the Unicorn, X-Files) and Peter Jancewicz. The Godchild marks Jancewicz’s debut in composing for film. His compositions are published by Alfred Music Publishing and Alberta Keys.
Grant Spink and Kari Townsend Shine in The Godchild
Grant Spink and Kari Townsend (The Call, Who Dressed You This Morning?) both delivered riveting performances in this movie. Both roles demanded a wide spectrum of emotions (some work with the blue screen). Their stories are fleshed out the most throughout the movie.
Townsend’s Sister Beth was portrayed as a strong woman trying to keep her world – the school – afloat. As the story progresses and viewers learn of her tragic story, Townsend aptly project’s the good nun’s vulnerabilities and desires.
Grant Spink brings a balance of youthful impetuousness, tempered by sweetness to the role. Both are needed to help audiences relate to his extraordinary character. At his core, Peter is just a child who’s trying to find his godmother. Trying to find the truth.
The Godchild – The Facts
The Godchild (2010) is a sci-fi fantasy movie rated PG. Running time is 83 minutes.
This sci fi film is based on an original screenplay by Philip Spink. Among Spink’s writing and directing credits are numerous sci-fi TV shows and mini-series, including Knights of Bloodsteel, The White Crane Killers, Once in a Blue Moon and Voyage of the Unicorn, which was ranked as Hallmark Entertainment’s highest rated two-night mini-series. His works have also appeared on RHI, SPIKE TV, Showtime TV and the Sy Fy Channel. He runs a production company, Philip Spink Productions in Calgary, Alberta.
The Godchild is available to buy or rent on the movie's website.
The Godchild – More Than a Time Travel Story
The story of The Godchild is well-paced. The development of the characters and the projection of their emotions are not rushed in the least. Although the premise of the story is space time travel, it’s the interconnecting storylines, along with the interaction between all the main characters that make this film enjoyable to watch (the space travel metaphysics is just a bonus for sci-fi fans).
The coin-flipping scene from the trailer and the film's ending? They need to be seen to be fully appreciated.
The Godchild stars Kari Townsend, Steve Dhillon, Riah Fielding-Walters, Michael Heltay, Grant Spink and Hazel Valdez. It had a limited run in Calgary, showing at the Canyon Meadows Cinemas on October 16, 23 and 30, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. Tickets and CD soundtrack were $5.00 each. This science fiction movie premiered Saturday, October 9, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta.
Originally published on October 12, 2010 on Suite101.com. Updated March 21, 2013. All rights reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.