Filmmaker Jim Elderton is interviewed by Shaw TV at the Caetani House during the filming of Sveva Imprisoned.

Filmmaker Jim Elderton is interviewed by Shaw TV at the Caetani House during the filming of Sveva Imprisoned.

Sveva Caetani film resurfaces

Sveva Imprisoned, the feature-length film which earned Jim Elderton an Okanagan Arts Award, will be screened Oct. 24 at the Towne Cinema.

Sveva Imprisoned, the feature-length film which earned Jim Elderton an Okanagan Arts Award, will be screened Oct. 24, four years after its festival debut at the Miami International Women’s Film Festival.

First shown in 2005, the film’s premiere (originally titled Sveva, Prisoner of Vernon) set an attendance record at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, and was warmly received in theatres in Canada and the U.S.

“Several versions have been shown, each time with new material added,” said Elderton, who wrote, filmed and produced the film. “For the submission to Miami, the new version included a re-transfer of the 1935 Caetani family footage shot in Vernon.”

The original 16-mm footage, previously only available from the Vernon Museum on VHS, has been copied to a digital broadcast format by the De Luxe movie laboratory in Vancouver.

For those who have not seen the film, it’s the story of artist Sveva Caetani, who died in 1994, but to this day is one of Vernon’s most legendary citizens.

“Brought here at the age of three by her family from Italy in 1921, she led an incredibly lonely childhood, hidden from Vernon, which her mother considered a common farming community,” said Elderton.

Caetani’s situation became worse after her father died when she was 18.

“Her mother withdrew into seclusion, taking her daughter with her. She wasn’t allowed to leave the property unaccompanied for the next 25 years,” said Elderton. “Her release came when her mother died. Sveva was now 43, and with almost no money, no job history, and no formal education, she re-entered the world she had lost. She was finally free to follow her one true passion, painting.”

Besides Sveva Imprisoned, Elderton will screen his two films from the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues music festival, Roots & Blues Redux.

The first film takes viewers backstage for an in-depth look at what it takes to mount a three-day international music festival, with haunting accompaniment by Kelowna bluesman Sherman Doucette.

Included is footage of Coco Montoya and an electrifying performance by Vancouver’s Colleen Rennison, regarded as Canada’s Janice Joplin, whose name spelled backwards is her band’s name: No Sinner.

The second film features legendary British boogie-woogie player Ben Waters, who is part of British rock ‘n roll royalty.

“He’s played for the Duke of Edinburgh as well as all the Rolling Stones musicians,” said Elderton, who followed Waters from the moment his busload of 25 British fans arrived in Salmon Arm to his performances and collaborations with a number of artists, including Doucette, on various festival stages.

Screening as part of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society’s Monday Night of the Arts at the Vernon Towne Cinema, Oct. 24, Sveva Imprisoned will be shown at 6 p.m. while Roots and Blues Redux will screen at 8 p.m. Tickets are at the Bean Scene and the Towne.

 

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