Jude Klassen is a filmmaker, journalist, TV and fiction writer, actor, and host of Judecast. Klassen’s monthly columns in Movie Entertainment Magazine included one-on-one celebrity interviews (10 Questions), film picks (Klassen’s Choices) and set visits (Canada’s Call Sheet). Jude’s short stories have been published in the late great Canadian Forum and received a Canada Council Explorations grant. She wrote the widely screened Bravofact short film Do Not Bend (Chicago Reeling Fest, Toronto Inside Out, Cinefest Sudbury and many more), starring Anna Silk (Lost Girl) and Peter Keleghan (Sex After Kids).
Klassen was story editor on the Leslie Neilsen Biography spoof, Liocracy, and executive story edited 13 episodes of The Comedy Network’s quirky classic, The Mr. Dink Show.
In 2011 Jude’s alter ego Tasha James wrote a love song to Rob Ford that went viral overnight and was covered in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Blog TO, Xtra, CTV’sW5, Toronto Life and the Huffington Post. Tasha and Fast Ford Nation went on to musically skewer Big Oil, Prison Reform, and Rob Ford a few more times.
Love in the Sixth is Klassen’s debut feature film.
Jude Klassen is a member of the WGC, SOCAN, and is represented by the Jennifer Hollyer Agency.
In February 2014 I sat down with my longtime collaborator, D.O.P. Rob McGee to brainstorm next steps. We’d been shooting celebrity interviews for Movie Entertainment Magazine, Judecast Live shows and Martini Think Tanks for over five years. Rob also filmed most of my strange and popular political satire music videos, the songs of Tasha James and Fast Ford Nation.
What we realized was that we had this incredible team of dedicated, diversely talented people who were willing to throw down hard for wine, beer, laughs, and whatever was in the slow cooker that day. We had the gear, we had the people, we had the vision—we had to make a feature film.
Since I was crawling through a killing field of heartbreak I decided to take advantage of my own fragile, erratic, slightly manic state of mind. Plus, I thought it would be a simple matter of tarting up an original TV series I’d written, Mancation, about a co-dependent single mom trying to stay off the man-crack and live a fulfilling life. It turns out the TV script was merely inspiration for the film—the stone in the Stone Soup. The ingredients we threw in the pot became increasingly complex: The people who were drawn to participate in the project multiplied and inspired in-the-moment adaptations.
The shit got real.
What began as an unromantic comedy about one woman’s last chance for no romance quickly became much quirkier—a musical—and much heftier—a look at love in the sixth extinction. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the sixth extinction it’s the one we’re living in. The first man made extinction. The bio diversity crisis we’re ignoring in favour of flashy tech crap, compulsive tweeting, TV binging, fake boobs, and the banality of Botox.
But I digress…
Yet, perhaps that’s appropriate. In a way this director’s statement mimics the film. Despite the horror of our times we still love, mate,
procreate, laugh, gossip, go shopping, flirt, discover new cafes, floss our teeth, make New Year’s Resolutions. We still care if our ass looks fat in that, we still strive to give our children hope for the future. And that last bit about our children—that’s the beating heart of Love in the Sixth.
I miss the country that I never knew.
My 12 year-old daughter, Mika, plays my daughter in the film. Before this project began she was feeling overwhelmed by the devastation being inflicted on the planet. She wanted to do something about it. Our conversations became increasingly sophisticated. Mika was researching politics on her own, for her grade seven book chat she did a power point presentation on Harperland. In Love in the Sixth Mika’s character, Katerina, educates her pals on politics. Her random statements also made their way into songs in the film. Our mother / daughter duet, Beautiful Human was inspired by Mika saying, “I miss the country that I never knew.”
This film is for her and all the beautiful humans inheriting our choices.
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