“The Morning After” is an intriguing film — but no more intriguing than David and Mia Faith Renaud, the couple who produced, directed and co-wrote the 14-minute short.
“Morning” is cute and sexy. It is quirky and real. There’s even a musical number dropped into the heart of it. One critic called it “the most feel-good infidelity and STD movie you’ll see all year.” And the only clothing that one of the main characters ever wears is a hat and one sock.
“This film is a sort of homage to the beginning of our relationship,” said Mia. What? Were infidelity and gonorrhea involved?
Um, no. “It’s more like, something unexpected happens, and it changes your life dramatically,” said David. And Mia added: “Everybody needs passion in their life. It makes us do crazy things, but fulfills us in ways that nothing else can.”
A whirlwind romance that began seven years ago at the DC Shorts film festival in Washington, D.C., was the spark for the Renauds. David, who had a medical practice in Toronto, was showing his first short film, “The Getaway,” a hobby project made with the assistance of his best friend, Canadian actor Sean Clement. It won the festival’s Audience Choice Award.
Mia, an attorney in Washington, was on the festival’s board of directors. Long story short: After 2½ months of flowers and chocolate and all-night phone calls, she had moved to Toronto. They were married the following year, eloping to Las Vegas, and now are the proud parents of children aged 4 and 2.
But that romance is only part of their story. David has been a paraplegic since an automobile accident when he was 19. The study of spinal-cord injuries was what propelled him to medical school at the University of British Columbia. He maintains a general practice today in Southern California, where the couple moved to pursue their passion in film at the UCLA film school — David studying screenwriting, Mia production.
“David doesn’t take setbacks,” said Mia, who continues to practice immigration law with many clients in film and the arts. “He just moves on.”
“The Morning After” is in 15 film festivals in 2013, this weekend including Bend; Carmel, Calif.; and Charlotte, N.C. Starring Kincaid Walker as Mae and Steve West as Frank, it is a multi-layered short film that David said “appeals to romantics. And I hope it’s a movie that any woman can relate to.”
The couple’s next project is one that David refers to as a “film noir date movie,” and one that Mia said may flush out her husband’s fascination with old Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies. Romance! Intrigue! I can hardly wait!