Vancouver theatres get Excited with Bruce Sweeney

While local filmmaker Bruce Sweeney discovered the, er, hard way that pitch sessions for a film about premature ejaculation don’t go so well, his romcom-drama Excited scooped up best director, best female lead performance (Laara Sadiq), best supporting female performance (Gabrielle Rose), and best feature-length drama at the Leo Awards, held on June 4 and 5 at the Westin Bayshore.

Watch the trailer for Excited.

Although he had to take the low-budget route ($25,000, plus $250,000 in postproduction later supplied by Telefilm), Sweeney tackled the taboo subject for his fifth feature because it was uncharted territory. “I picked P.E. because it hadn’t been done and I was reading a bunch of these case studies on it,” he said. “And they were very frank, very candid, and it just said it was an all-encompassing kind of problem for them. And it wasn’t easy, and a lot of men got so mortified at the idea that they just stopped dating, period. In the Excited story, he was quite a botch up, and then he went a long time without dating. I wanted to treat it with the kind of emotional depth or resonance which wasn’t like a punchline.”

He also saw rich potential in the material. “In contemporary society now, people can get over sexual dysfunctional problems so easily, but I thought if you take a guy who’s actually strapped in pretty tight, and has the professional side of his life very much in order, but his social side and his romantic side is just completely untapped, someone who’s just been in denial for some time. I wanted to get a person like that who has to overcome a deficiency.”

The film will screen at Fifth Avenue Cinemas (2210 Burrard) on Wednesday and Thursday (June 16 and 17, 7 p.m.), with a special presentation of the film by the First Weekend Club on Monday (June 14, 7 p.m.) at the Ridge Theatre (3131 Arbutus Street) that will feature a post-screening discussion with Sweeney and cast members.

Sweeney is currently shooting crime-drama The Young Detectives, about a woman who goes missing, starring Ryan MacDonald, Paul Skrudland, Nicholas Lea, and Gabrielle Rose.