Closing Film

Matt and Mara

Canada 2024 82min DCP Color Fiction 12Asian Premiere


Jeonbuk National University Cultural Center


2024. 05. 10






Mara, a young creative writing professor dealing with a strained marriage, reunites with Matt, a charismatic, free-spirited author from her past. But as their mutual connection grows, pressure also mounts against their close but undefined relationship.

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The independent art film scene shares some universal characteristics. The independent filmmakers in each country form tight-knit communities, fostering friendships through collaboration and shared experiences. Working with limited budgets, they share struggles and support each other, creating a bond that goes beyond just colleagues. They're friends, family, and collaborators – a unique and powerful connection that can’t be defined by a name. The Canadian independent film scene is especially renowned for its strong network of mutual support. This was perfectly captured when we saw director Hugh Gibson’s action. When his film The Stairs (2016), selected for the International Competition at the 2017 JEONJU IFF, won TFCA’s 2016 Rogers Best Canadian Film award, he split the prize money with the other two finalists, Kazik RADWANSKI and Matt JOHNSON. These two would later meet as a director and an actor in Matt and Mara, RADWANSKI directing and JOHNSON acting. This year, Matt JOHNSON has two films in JEONJU IFF. He directed and acted in BlackBerry, which was invited to the festival, and acted as a protagonist in the closing film. Kazik RADWANSKI, who produced Matt and Mara, isn’t new to JEONJU IFF either. His previous film, Anne at 13,000 ft (2019) premiered at JEONJU IFF in 2020. And Deragh CAMPBELL, who showed a realistic portrayal of protagonist’s mentality in Anne at 13,000 ft, plays the most important role in Matt and Mara.

Filmmaker RADWANSKI takes an unconventional approach with Matt and Mara, to create a realistic and unique romantic film. Both Matt and Mara are working in the literary world, with one having slightly bigger success than the other. They reunite after a long time but an awkward tension hangs in the air. Their encounter awakens the memory that could have happened but never did, and suggests that their never-love-turned friendship so far might hold the potential for something more. Is love only a matter of timing? Just like many great films, all the characters of Matt and Mara are very relatable, transcending the limitations of format or genre to portray the essence of our time. Above all, the film shows what art has achieved so far; the exploration of human life, defying categorization by logic and language, and delving into the indefinable nature of relationships. (Sung MOON)

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  • DirectorKazik RADWANSKI
  • ProducerDan MONTGOMERY, Candice NAPOLEONE
  • ScreenplayKazik RADWANSKI
  • CinematographyNikolay MICHAYLOV
  • EditorAjla ODOBASIC
  • SoundIan REYNOLDS, Gabe KNOX
  • CastDeragh CAMPBELL, Matt JOHNSON, Mounir AL SHAMI, Emma HEALEY

Film Source




Born in Toronto, 1985. Kazik has made 6 shorts and 4 features. His previous feature Anne at 13,000 ft. (2019) premiered at TIFF and the Berlinale Forum.