‘The Swallows Jar’ director reveals near-death experience – The Hollywood Reporter

Vow of oath director Lindsay MacKay is revealing a secret she keeps from independent film producers when she interviews the director of a melodrama starring Adelaide Clemens and Suit stars Patrick J. Adams and has its world premiere this weekend at the Toronto Film Festival.

As art mimics life, one of the film’s protagonists dies of a brain aneurysm, and MacKay herself experienced a near-death experience in 2017 when she was hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury. Brain. “Well, this is the universe telling me I should pursue this,” MacKay said The Hollywood Reporter about her reaction when she read the original script for Vow of oath by Kate Hewlett.

The Los Angeles-based executive had never seen that amazing white light, but MacKay still has vivid memories of her own brain aneurysm, like a flash of light hitting her head. , knocking her down as she ran briskly on the treadmill at her parents’ house while visiting. they are in her native Canada.

MacKay survived a severe brain injury because a paramedic kept her on life support through a breathing tube in an ambulance until they were able to take her to the intensive care unit, where she coma for several days.

“[The doctors] told my parents it was a really serious situation, and if someone needed to say goodbye, they should be told,” MacKay recalls.

Finally, she recovered enough to direct Vow of Oath, tells the story of aspiring singer-songwriter Carey, played by Clemens, who falls in love with Owen, a local bookstore employee (Douglas Smith), even while she’s already married to Simon, played by Adams. .

But MacKay remained tight-lipped about her traumatic brain injury in preparation for the performance because, she may have survived a near-death experience, but her doctors warned MacKay that she could will never direct a movie again.

“I was told while in the hospital that I would never be able to return to my career. And I obviously thought I wouldn’t be able to do this again,” said MacKay, who graduated from the American Film Institute and premiered her first film, Wet Bumat TIFF 2014.

“There are a lot of changes in my life, but I know [creative] The taste is still there. My passion for storytelling is still there. And those two things are the driving force in my life,” she added. After MacKay signed in to direct Vow of Oath, she told her cast, which included Kathleen Turner.

One day, one of the film’s producers, Jane Loughman, said she was aware of the personal health crisis MacKay was facing but that it had nothing to do with a brain hemorrhage tied to the script and the story of the movie.

“So we were all ‘Well, I guess this is what this means,’” ​​she recounts.

MacKay said directing Vow of oath, in some ways, easier than fighting for his life in the hospital. “What I overcame, in terms of my physical and mental abilities, was clearly much more difficult than the challenge of making a movie,” she stressed.

However, directing a movie is a mountain to climb. “There are many factors in the game. There are so many things that can go wrong, over and over again. By comparison, yes, they feel like little battles. But because I’m so passionate about making movies, they’re really important to me,” MacKay explains.

And, as she prepares to screen her second film with a world premiere in Toronto this weekend, MacKay will be surrounded by her family and friends. That includes her father, who picked her up from the basement on that fateful day to get MacKay to the local hospital in time to save her life, and who along with her mother feared they might personally care for her. their sick daughter. For the rest of your life.

“Back again, and with a movie featuring Kathleen Turner, who was a star to everyone, but it was especially frustrating for them. As parents, they are, on many levels, very proud,” MacKay said.

The Toronto Film Festival continues until September 18.

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