Oct 29, 2016
A couple sits in a dimly lit restaurant, each casually sipping a glass of Merlot.The scene may seem like nothing more than a romantic night out, but when it comes to this relationship, it’s a lot more captivating than it seems — pun intended.
“It’s a story about a woman who decides to have dinner with a man who held her captive decades before,” said Kristina Esposito, co-writer, co-producer, and actress in the short film Captive Love. “She wants to have that dinner to get over her love for him. With the story you learn how they met, and at the end she has to decide if she’s going to leave or stay.”
The idea behind the short came to the London filmmaker when she was taking part in a dance show, where one of the pieces was based on a story written about a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, back in 1973.
“These two guys held hostages for six days,” she explained. “During the whole ordeal, some of the hostages started feeling affection for their captors, which is where the term Stockholm syndrome came from.”
Esposito found the story so fascinating; she wanted to tell it in her own way.
“I read somewhere at some point that one of the women ended up writing to one of the men who held them hostage, and their families even became friends,” she said. “That’s all rumour and speculation of course, but that’s kind of where the idea for the film came from. We really wanted to explore years later what happens, because so many movies are only about what happens in the moment. But something like this would affect someone for their entire lives.”
The film stars Canadian actors Jennifer Dale and Art Hindle as star-crossed diners Sonia and Darren, whose complicated tale must be told quickly, as Captive Love’s running time just edges past 10 minutes. It was a challenge Esposito wasn’t afraid to take on.
“A lot of people who have done features say that shorts are harder, because you have to tell a complete story in a very short amount of time,” she said. “You don’t have as long to love the characters and you don’t have as long to get to know them and the story, so it’s definitely important to fine-tune every look and every word.”
The project began production just over a year ago, and was premiered during the Italian Contemporary Film Festival at the Bell Lightbox, as well as the Toronto Independent Film Festival.
Now, Esposito will debut Captive Love for her hometown audience at the Wolf Performance Hall on Sunday, Nov. 13, as part of the Forest City Film Festival.
“I’m so excited to have it premiering at home,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to the festival overall. London has some great talent and it’s going to be wonderful to support one another and celebrate our work.”