Local resident Margarethe Baillou is producer for a new film to be released this year.  *Photo supplied
Local resident Margarethe Baillou is producer for a new film to be released this year. *Photo supplied

Bermudian resident Margarethe Baillou of Germany, a film producer and founder of New York-based M.Y.R.A Entertainment, is about to complete post production on a 1920s period film, set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Drawing Home. Jüliz Ritchie sat down with her. 

What is New York for you? 

New York is home to the mindset I identify with the most — fearless artistic exploration, grounded in intellectual evaluation and unparalleled energy. 

This city loves the arts and imposes no ceiling.

How did you find yourself telling a Canadian story? 

When I learned of the real life story of the late Peter and Catharine Whyte of Banff, I instantly saw a movie and I became determined to tell the story authentically, using factual Alberta locations and Canadian talent to portray the tale on screen to honour the cultural origin of the story.

What makes Peter and Catharine’s story stand out? 

Their story is a classic tale of seemingly polar opposites discovering a mutual language which, in this case, is art. In the 1920s, privileged and talented East coast debutante Catharine Robb is dating one of the wealthiest bachelors at the time, John D Rockefeller III. 

At art school she meets the opposite of John — small town artist, Peter Whyte. 

They soon discover soul mates in each other and make life-changing decisions based on their humble personal ideals of ‘home’ and ‘wealth’. 

Drawing Home offers all the ingredients of a compelling narration as well as fundamental characteristics of life — romance, adventure and drama, paired with the full palette of human emotions and a great backdrop, the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 

It offers an intimate piece of Canadiana.

Do you always look for cultural aspects in a film project? 

Filmmaking is comparable to exploring foreign territories, be it by way of geographic travel or academic study. 

All of my productions have a strong anthropological aspect.

 It is my personal motor, plus a way of sharing my passion for travelling with the audience, inviting them on a multidimensional cultural experience that is not only entertaining but also enriching and intriguing.

Your recent animated Bermuda short film Telling A You has been shown in over 20 international film festivals. Could you tell us about it?

Telling A You is a homage to my new island home. Set in the 1960s, it tells the romantic story of a man and a woman accidently colliding at a street corner in historic St George’s, turning a seemingly ordinary moment in time into an extraordinary moment in two people’s lives.

What do you think of Bermuda as a filming location? 

I envision more stories that celebrate the island’s colour palette, light, soothing sounds and architectural shapes. 

Bermuda is a highly romantic place, yet like all insular communities, it can also be melancholic and daunting at times which are all fantastic characteristics for storytelling. 

There are parts of the island that have hardly changed since the 1600s, which screams for a period piece — there are shipwrecks, caves and a pirate history which lends itself to an adventure story, nostalgic tales about the island as an international societal hotspot in the mid-1900s, and the iconic motor scooters on the narrow coastal roads are an attractive sight that could be embedded in an international
action story.

Drawing Home
is to be released later this year.