Entertainment

Afterparty the aftereffect of film firm co-owned by valley Bomb Girls' star

Graham Coffeg and Ali Leibert in Afterparty -
Graham Coffeg and Ali Leibert in Afterparty
— image credit:

Actress Ali Liebert’s new year’s resolution is to earn more experience writing and directing films.

Not that the Duncan-raised star of Global TV’s Bomb Girls’ interest in acting is diffusing.

But scraping together scripts, and working behind cameras also intrigues Vancouver-based Liebert. That’s why she and friends Michelle Ouellet and Nicholas Carella founded Sociable Films in 2011.

Their learning, exploring firm premiered its insightfully romantic-comedy Afterparty at the recent Whistler Film Festival.

Liebert was stoked about the co-operative process of making offbeat Afterparty — plus WFF’s reaction to the summer-made flick boasting an improvised script, nine actors, 25 crew, and 40 scenes.

“Oh my God, it was amazing and incredible,” she told the News Leader Pictorial of her company’s debut picture seen by some Hollywood honchos. “Lots of business gets done at festival, with distribution companies wanting to buy films and get worldwide rights.”

Legal and protocol issues kept Liebert from spilling details about Afterparty’s marketable aftermath.

“We had a lot of interest,” she said of the Sociable effort she thought folks liked. “It’s art, right?”

Liebert, 32, was also touched by attention she and her Sociable buddies got at Whistler, hosted by Variety and Elle (Canada) magazines.

“When you produce something, it’s a different film-festival experience for me. When you’re an actor, you have no control of what’s left in and taken out of the movie, so it’s shocking when you see the film,” said the fall cover girl of the News Leader Pictorial’s popular Station magazine.

Flip to owning a film company such as Sociable, and entering your pictures in festivals.

“You’re not in the dark, you have lots of control,” she said, applauding Afterparty’s director, Ouellet. “She did an incredible job leaving out some improv scenes to make a complete story,” said Liebert, gratified with Whistler’s viewer response. “It was nice hearing people laugh.”

Laughs leaped from Afterparty’s plot tracing post-wedding antics of a group of 30something pals.

“The characters come back to the bride and groom’s house and have a big party,” she said of shooting at a big rented pad in Langley. “A lot of (characters) haven’t seen each other in awhile. They also bring back a few of the caterer’s waitresses — it’s fun and sadness too.”

The Frances Kelsey grad found creating her Afterparty persona “liberating” compared to simply fulfilling a director’s vision.

“We had no idea what the other characters would say, and reacted to what was unfolding.”

It was also Sociable’s artistic unfolding.

“Afterparty is the whole philosophy of your company making movies sociably; working with friends we want to spend our days with. In return, we did a co-op with the key crew and cast, so everyone owns a piece of the film. Everyone felt more inclined to contribute.”

Teamwork contributions are helping Liebert and company submit Afterparty to other film festivals.

Meanwhile, she was amped about the spring’s Bomb Girls’ movie, her guest spot on ABC’s cop show Motive, and her “classic best-friend” work on Hallmark’s freshly wrapped A Ring For Spring.

“It’s about a girl trying to figure out why she’s still single. It’s a classic looking-for-love story, and she asks herself some important questions.”

Liebert’s also questioning her artistic goals, aiming to shadow Ouellet on Sociable’s next project now in the works.

“With my own production company, I have the ability to grow as an artist rather than waiting for something as an actress. I’m on a really lucky streak right now — hopefully it lasts forever,” she said.

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