A Sylvan Lake mother-son duo have teamed up to bring a feature film to the big screen.
Long-time writer Joanne Sikma’s “Root of the Problem” is currently making waves at film festivals at the hands of her son, Scott Sikma’s, direction.
The film marked the first time the two got to work together.
“I’ve never had the opportunity to direct a feature [film] and having the first one being something that my mom wrote years ago, it was phenomenal,” said Scott, who has worked in film most of his life.
Scott has worked on shows at Warner Brothers and with the CW Network, as well as on movies.
He has filled roles all throughout the department working as a first, second and third assistant director.
Joanne, a retired school teacher, has been writing for over 40 years and has three more manuscripts out to producers.
“All my scripts are family-based, it’s suitable for the whole family,” said Joanne. “I think these kind of movies have a great impact on family.”
“If we can have more of those I think we’d have a better world, I really do, it’s just a matter of being appreciative,” added Joanne.
“Root of the Problem” teaches viewers the little things in life are what count, Joanne says.
The story features a family who inherits a money tree, but the new source of funds leads to a change in lifestyle and mindset. An accident reminds them to look within themselves and go back to their values.
“It doesn’t matter how shiny or how big or how expensive it is at the end of the day it’s the little things and how they make you feel,” said Scott of the film’s message.
Joanne said she never thought having one of her stories become a movie would ever be a reality and it was a matter of never giving up.
Scott got the ball rolling when he and Francis Damberger, who wrote “Passchendaele,” got a hold of it and tweaked the screenplay.
“[Scott] read the book and he knew there was potential there because there was a hook,” said Joanne.
She says the nice part of being a writer is not being known, usually writers aren’t even on set.
“I was very blessed that I was able to be a part way more than a normal writer is,” said Joanne, who was a consultant on set.
Joanne added she is proud of her son and she enjoyed watching him at his best.
With the 20-day shoot taking place last fall the film is now leaving its mark in the film festival scene.
The film won Best Lead Actor and was nominated for Best Lead Actress at the Christian International Film Festival in Orlando, Fl. in the spring.
It has also been nominated at the Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival for Best Picture and Best Lead Actor.
“I can’t emphasize enough that this is all God’s work… we thank Him every day for where it’s going,” said Joanne.
The nominations have yet to be released for the Calgary International Film Festival, but the film’s Canadian premiere will be held during it on Sept. 21.
After the film festival run “Root of the Problem” will have its theatrical release near the end of October or early November. It will hit theatres across Canada, the United States and potentially over seas.
A DVD is set to come out shortly after. The DVD will accompany the novel and a study guide Joanne has put together to be used in schools.
Joanne has more scripts rolling through the production process and Scott hopes to direct more of her scripts in the future.
“It was honestly an honour to film my own feature film” said Scott, whose next feature “Christmas by the Book” is another film about family values.