Home is where your Art is.
A Long Way to Kansas is a Poetic/Expository Documentary combining actuality and poetic elements, coupled with in-situ interviews and characters’ performances. The film explores the dreams and inspirations of three young artists living under the same roof with their collective. We follow them at this point in time and space where everything seems to be possible and every dream achievable. While Kansas refers to this final and ideal destination, our film focuses on the path leading to fulfillment.
The MASON collective is comprised of a group of young and diverse artists. It began almost by chance, with a two friend group moving into neighbouring apartments. Since then they’ve grown as artists, individually but also collectively. Their open-mindedness to all peoples and art forms acts as an unwritten manifesto. They produce and perform music in secret shows called MASON.Kitchen and use graphic design skills to support and promote those performances. The group also includes photographers, filmmakers, dancers, chefs and poets. Their ideas and goals drive them almost as much as the fun and joy they get from making art.
Claire was born in Virginia before moving to Lausanne, Switzerland. Before moving to Montreal at the age of 18 she had already studied music and auditioned for The Voice. She is currently working more music, riding the success of her single California and ‘Til the Morning along with numerous features. In addition to shows and music contracts, she waitresses part time to supply an additional income to her artistic investments.
Born and raised in Montreal by his mother along with his brothers, J-Rob is a modern renaissance man. His use of food to explore his culture, coupled with poetry that helps him examine social and racial issues. He also dabbles in music, on the cusp of releasing a single, and filmmaking.
Simone is a dancer from Toronto completing her master’s degree in education at McGill University. She has blended dance and academia together in her research, which uses movement to explore the topics of safe and healthy relationships with young people. Simone’s work and dance practice are deeply informed by her values of pleasure, agency, and communication.
Stefano is an Italian director who explores the themes of identity, longing and memory. His visual approach combines magical elements with more realistic ones to explore the complexity of the human reality.
He holds an international master’s degree in Film Studies from the Université de Montréal and the Goethe University of Frankfurt. He is currently completing a post-graduate degree in Advanced Television and Film at Sheridan College in Toronto, specialising in Directing and Editing. He recently directed and co-wrote his first short documentary “Family Affair”.
BENJAMIN DEL VASTO
Ben is a recent graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University. He is currently attending Sheridan College for his post-graduate studies, with a focus in producing and screenwriting.
He has written, directed and produced two short films: A Lack of Content and Allurement. His other works include roles as a production manager on Side Chick by Lucas Wakman, co-producer on Hard Ground by Samuel E. Mac, and producer on Urban Inuk, a short documentary presently in post-production. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Director of Photography
Monika is a photographer and filmmaker whose work is often an exploration of herself and those closest to her. It is autobiographical in nature as she explores themes of belonging, memory, home and her relationships with others. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
She holds a BFA from the University of Concordia in Montréal, Québec, and is currently completing a post-graduate degree in Advanced Television and Film at Sheridan College with a focus on Cinematography and Directing.
Keisha recently graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a degree in Communication Studies. After spending years editing YouTube videos she decided to pursue film as a career. Now, she is pursuing her post-graduate education at Sheridan College’s Advanced TV & Film program with a focus in sound and picture editing.
Keisha has worked on both documentary and narrative during her time at film school. As an Editor, she proudly has edited an upcoming documentary called “Yung Shaggy”. Looking into the future, Keisha hopes to graduate from Sheridan College and become an Assistant Editor in TV & Film and eventually an Editor. Her biggest dream is to win an Oscar…but isn’t that everyone’s?
Sound Recordist/Audio Mixer
Leonardo graduated from Brock University with a bachelor degree in Film Studies and is currently attending Sheridan College for his post-graduate studies, focusing on both camera and audio.
Coming from a family with a photography background and a strong passion for film and its art, it’s no surprise his passion for film began when he was a kid and has grown since then. His favourite filmmakers are Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino and Guillermo Del Toro to name a few, but his favourite film is “V for Vendetta”. Since he started film school, he has been part of multiple short films and documentaries a sound recordist and director of photography.
Katie is a filmmaker in her final year at Sheridan specializing in cinematography and editing. She previously studied at UWindsor graduating with a double major in Film and Visual Arts. Additionally, she worked for the Windsor Spitfires OHL hockey team as a videographer and editor. However, her two passions lie in documentary film and environmental activism.
She plans to pursue a career in cinematography, creating inspiring and thought provoking documentaries, that tell stories of people around the world.
Holly graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2017 with a degree in Communication Studies. From a young age, she created and edited her own dramatic films featuring her A-list Barbie dolls. Holly is an indie-film fien, and Garden State and Away We Go, have inspired her to follow her dreams in the film industry. Currently, she is pursuing her post-graduate education at Sheridan College’s Advanced TV & Film program with a focus in sound and picture editing.
Holly has worked on both documentary and narrative during her time at film school. As an editor, she has edited a thought-provoking documentary called “Rainbow Headed” and a quirky narrative called Ghost Story. In the future, Holly hopes to graduate from Sheridan College and become an Assistant Editor in TV and film and eventually become a feature film editor.
The idea of a documentary that tells about the story of a group of young artists living together was born a few years ago, during the time… Read more “Director’s Notes”
The editing process has been a wonderful challenge. It forced us to re-think the story that we idealized in the pre-production process over and over. Often the… Read more “Editing Kansas”
We brought a crew of five for our four days of shooting. The plan was to interview individuals in places they often find themselves outside of the… Read more “Filming MASON”