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North Van home to VIFF's youngest producer from B.C.
Think Canadian Idol or Step Up, but with a bit more bite.
Filmed on the North Shore, Leap 4 Your Life is a mocumentary that follows a group of ambitious teens and their enthusiastic parents as they prepare for the 10th annual Leap 4 Your Life dance competition.
Tensions run high as the studio's owner, Maureen, puts her eye on the Ultimate Grand Prize and goes to drastic measures to keep her team on top. With a reputation to uphold, the Sashay Senior Dance Company are ready to dominate the competition.
Twenty-three-year-old North Van resident Taylor Hill, the youngest producer from B.C. at this year's Vancouver International Film Festival, wrote, produced and starred in the mocumentary.
She plays Molly, a "flaky eccentric" with braces, who dances along side pretty rich girl Hilary (Allie Bertram), "the star of the group" Hilary and Matt (Reece Thompson), the "token guy" on the team.
"I always thought a mocumentary would be fun to do for a dance competition because I've been a huge fan of Christopher Guest films, like Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman, and I have a secret obsession with reality TV," Hill tells The Outlook five days before the movie's premier at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
With the help of mom Barbara, who co-created the movie, her dad (who organized the food) and brothers (both appear in the movie), Hill came up with her "dream project," found other actors and got award-winning director Gary Hawes on board.
Filming was held at Hill's house, her former training ground North Shore Dance Academy, Kay Meek Theatre and other spots in North and West Van.
"It's obvious it's a mocumentary. It's like The Office or Modern Family, it's very funny and the characters are quirky and wacky. It doesn't take itself as seriously as a documentary would.
"But I hope some people think it's real because that would be hilarious."
Raised in Delbrook, Hill began acting and dancing at seven years old and studied at the Lyric School of Acting while at Balmoral secondary school. She moved to Sentinel secondary where she took the Super Achievers program for dancing and acting and then graduated from SFU with a major in psychology and a minor in fine and performing arts.
Having grown up in the dance world, writing Leap 4 Your Life came naturally to the up-and-coming filmmaker, who wrote the script in just a month.
"We just found out we sold out [for the premier]. Which was so exciting, that was like 500 seats," Hill says proudly.
Leap 4 Your Life shows on Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Rio Theatre and on Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. at The Cinematheque. Tickets are available at VIFF.org.