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The Simpsons meets Lake of the Woods: Winnipeg filmmakers headed to TIFF

A short film co-directed by Conor Sweeney and Milos Mitrovic will have its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), as a part of its Short Cuts program.

Conor Sweeney (left) and Milos Mitrovic co-directed Homer_b, which will have its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Conor Sweeney (left) and Milos Mitrovic co-directed Homer_b, which will have its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

A film created by two former University of Winnipeg students – with ties to The Simpsons, Lake of the Woods, and clown masks – will be unveiled at one of the world’s largest publicly attended film festivals this fall.

A short film co-directed by Conor Sweeney and Milos Mitrovic will have its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), as a part of its Short Cuts program.

“Homer_b” totals three minutes and chronicles the secret life of the Yellow Family, and includes a clown delivering stand-up on a variety show.

“The unknown characters in the film wear Simpsons masks. Conor and myself started buying [them] on eBay and filming in Kenora a couple of times a year,” Mitrovic said.

Sweeney is from Kenora, while Mitrovic immigrated to Winnipeg from Bosnia in 1994. The two met in Winnipeg, which is where Sweeney became one of the founders of Canadian filmmaking collective Astron-6.

“I was their huge fan of theirs. They were my biggest inspirations for filmmaking while I was in film school and I somehow became internet friends with him on Facebook, and then after a while we started making movies together,” Mitrovic said.

While they’re excited to go, it’s not either filmmakers' first time at the festival. This will be Sweeney’s third time — but first time as a director — and Mitrovic’s second.

“It feels great to return to the festival. Last year, it was all brand new to me, so I got to know a lot of people at the festival. It’ll be great to see those people again,” he said.

Other Winnipeg representation at TIFF includes Indigenous documentary-maker Alanis Obomsawin’s “Our People Will Be Healed,” about an innovative school in a remote Cree community north of Winnipeg, and Winnipeg-born Matthew Rankin’s short film about Nikola Tesla.

The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7 to 17.

– With files from the Canadian Press

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