Sixteen years ago a middle-aged Canadian named John Hanmer was mysteriously murdered in the Philippines. Surviving him were his four children named Michael, Shannon, Michael, and Shannon. This is not a typo.
In his twenties John Hanmer was a well respected police officer and family man in Hamilton, Ontario. Two decades and three countries later, his life would end in a barrage of gunfire in Angeles City. Michael and Shannon, his two eldest, Canadian-born children witnessed their once heroic father slip away into a seedy realm of drugs and biker gangs. John eventually fled to Thailand where he had two more children, also named Michael and Shannon. In a classic case of history repeating itself John abandoned another family, running from consequence the moment he was in over his head. He wound up in the Philippines, tangled in the underworld of Angeles City. A year later John was ambushed by gunmen as he rode home on his motorcycle, shot down in the street with assault rifles.
Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John is a meditative film threaded together from the subjective memories of each child, deconstructing their father’s moral ambiguity across multiple planes of time, space, and reality. The film concurrently unravels John’s unusual trajectory from cop to criminal while his children chase his shadow across multiple countries, towards each other and the setting of his demise. Having only recently discovered each others' existence, secrets, mistranslations, and cultural gaps are the subtext as John’s worlds collide and his children fumble to find a common language. The film interrogates the ideas of identity, legacy, and family as John’s children wade into the emotional detritus left in his wake.
WRITER & DIRECTOR
Chelsea McMullan’s films and projects have premiered at Sundance, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Photography Festival. Her award-winning shorts have been featured on Nowness, Dazed Digital, Vice and in Vogue Italia magazine. Chelsea is a member of the artist co-operative What Matters Most and was an artist in residence at Fabrica, where she made the Genie-nominated short film Derailments, a tribute to the legacy of Federico Fellini.
My Prairie Home, her musical documentary portrait of gender-neutral singer/songwriter Rae Spoon, won the 2013 Vancouver Film Critics’ Prize for Best Canadian Documentary and garnered a Canadian Screen Award nomination. It is currently in distribution with the National Film Board of Canada.
Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John is her second feature film.
Nadia has over 13 years’ experience as a producer and business affairs consultant in film and television. Starting as a Producer’s Assistant on Deepa Mehta’s The Republic of Love, and Gordon Pinsent’s Heyday!, she has since earned Associate Producer credits on the feature dramas One Week, All Hat, Score: A Hockey Musical and Still Mine. In documentary, Nadia worked as a Coordinator/Production Manager on several films including Act of God, Star Men, and Carpe Diem. In 2012, she line-produced the CSA nominated Mission Asteroid and co-produced The Ballad of Hugh, which premiered at the NXNE Festival in Toronto to critical acclaim and won Best Canadian Documentary at the Global Visions Film Festival in Edmonton.
In the same year, Nadia opened her production company, One Thousand and One Productions, to seek out creative partnerships and develop new projects with wide audience appeal. Michael Shannon Michael Shannon John is the first film under this new banner, to be followed by Black Code which Nadia is co-producing with Writer/Director Nicholas de Pencier.
DIRECTOR of PHOTOGRAPHY
Maya Bankovic is a Toronto-based cinematographer. Her fiction and documentary work has screened at close to two hundred festivals worldwide and across Canada, including TIFF, VIFF, Hot Docs, Sundance, Full Frame, RIDM, AFI Silverdocs, Inside Out, Outfest, and Krakow.
Documentary shooting has taken her across the world, shooting in big cities, rural communities and remote pockets of Canada and abroad. In narrative fiction, Maya has shot over thirty short films and several dramatic feature films, many of which have gone on to acclaimed festival and theatrical runs. In 2010 she was invited to the Berlinale as a participating cinematographer in the festival’s Talent Campus. Most recently she had the honour of serving on the jury for the Canadian Screen Awards.
Maya is currently an Associate Member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.
Avrïl Jacobson is a Toronto-based editor. Her work has screened at several festivals, including Sundance Film Festival, the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has also edited programs for broadcast on CBC, TVO and OMNI Television.
MSMSJ is only the most recent collaboration with Director Chelsea McMullan. She also edited Chelsea’s first feature My Prairie Home, a documentary-musical featuring Rae Spoon, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Other editing credits include Payback (Sundance '12), Ghost Noise(IDFA '10), Deadman (TIFF ’09), and Four Walls (TIFF ’07). In 2011, she received a Gemini Award for Peep Culture, a one-hour documentary about our changing relationship to privacy and new media. In 2009, Avrïl was invited to participate in the Talent Lab at the Berlinale. In 2008, she edited Spring Hurlbut's Airborne, which was acquired by the National Gallery of Canada. Avrïl holds a BFA in Film & Video Production from York University. Her interest in editing began with an internship as assistant editor at Mercury Films, where she worked on the highly acclaimed documentary Manufactured Landscapes.
Alaska B is a musician, artist, animator and audio engineer. She holds a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Studio Arts from Concordia University, and a Post Graduate in Computer Animation from Sheridan College. Her work as a record producer, illustrator, electronic artist and musician with the collective she co-created, YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN, has earned 2 Polaris Prize Nominations (2012, 2014) and 1 Juno Nomination (2014). She has performed on many stages, including Buddies In Bad Times’ Rhubarb Festival (Toronto, 2012), All Tomorrow’sParties (UK, 2012), NXNE (Toronto, 2012), SXSW (Austin, TX 2014), Austin Psych Fest (Austin, TX 2014) and Primavera (Barcelona, Spain 2014).