Director: Noel Harris, Writer: Noel Harris; Producer: Mark O’Neill; Key Cast: Darryl Hopkins, Krystin Pellerin, Jorja King
When a single mom, facing eviction, is offered a night’s work, she unsuccessfully seeks a babysitter for her two small children. Desperate, she reaches out to the last person she wants to ask for a favour.
Noel was born and raised in St. John’s, NL, Canada. He has been in the film/tv business for 20+ years. Touch is his sixth short film as writer/director.
Director Statement: Touch is a story about our capacity to sacrifice for those we love. A love that needs few words. As such, Touch is a visual story. The idea for Touch comes from a melding my family/work life. Growing up, I was one in a family of 13. Through my parents example we stood by each other and managed to make ends meet. When we were kids, one of the things my parents and older sisters and brothers always did for the smaller Harris kids was scratch our back. Whenever a smaller Harris kid was sick, tired, or especially when grumpy, a back scratch was the answer. In our family it was a display of tenderness and affection. It felt especially good just after the back-scratcher clipped their fingernails. The touch of a tender back scratch always seemed to make everything good.
In my job with the Locations department for the TV show Republic of Doyle, I have scouted inside homes where generational poverty is the norm. There was one place in particular which stood out. A single mother and her three children, all under the age of six where living in a trailer. Inside, I witnessed abject poverty. It was obvious this mother truly did love her children and vice versa. Though it was my job, I could not bring myself to take reference pictures. I left, drove up the road out of sight and pulled over. For the longest time just sat in my car, shocked. When we began shooting at a nearby location, every morning the mother would come out of her trailer and head to the bus stop with her three children in tow. I always observed the care and tenderness she showed her children. Over the ensuing days, other family members such as aunts and uncles would visit and the kids were genuinely happy to see them.