“BOREALIS” – Emily Hampshire, Kevin Pollak & Joey King (2015)
JONAH FINN (36) plays poker at a seedy back-room overseen by TUBBY FINKLEMAN, who reluctantly grants Jonah one-hundred grand in credit, which Jonah promptly loses. The volatile Tubby takes MARVIN – Jonah’s family dog – as collateral, and warns Jonah that if he doesn’t pay up by first thing in the morning, he and his daughter- AURORA (15) – are going to get hurt. When Jonah appeals to his girlfriend KYLA for a loan, she dumps him, tired of his lies and his negligent parenting. Oblivious to her family’s danger, Aurora undergoes another eye exam at the Winnipeg Optometry Center. Her doctor delivers the prognosis to Jonah in private: she’s going completely blind. But Jonah’s unable to tell Aurora the truth. Instead, he urges her to come on a road trip to Churchill, Manitoba. There, Jonah once witnessed the most beautiful sight he’s ever seen- the Northern Lights. His motivation is two-fold: flee from danger, and assuage his guilt by showing her the amazing Aurora Borealis- before she loses her vision completely. Along the way, with Tubby hot on their trail, Jonah and Aurora finally confront their tragic pasts and their individual vices, in un-anticipation and often comical ways. And when Jonah finally reveals the truth to Aurora about her failing vision, she shares a profound (and controversial) all-night encounter with the mysterious small town hipster- an experience that changes her forever. The next morning, Aurora reunites with Jonah for the final leg of the journey, culminating in an impossibly high-stakes game of blackjack, and a climatic final showdown with Tubby in the dangerously cold waters of Churchill’s Hudson Bay.