While in the York film and video program, Evan Morgan (BFA ’08) developed his voice as a writer and filmmaker while part of a tight-knit community. With “a penchant for dark humour,” he embraced his fate as a director, as the modest beginnings of a dark comedy short film loomed in the background.
After becoming friends with actor and “kindred spirit” Adam Brody, one specific idea Morgan developed while at York felt particularly apt. After revisiting his old catalog of film school ideas, feature film The Kid Detective came to fruition. After seven years of development, it was filmed in North Bay, Ontario, with lead actors Brody and Sophie Nélisse. It follows the story of a once-celebrated kid detective who, at 32, continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity, until a naïve client brings him his first adult case – to find out who murdered her boyfriend.
After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sept. 10, the film was released in the United States and distributed by Sony on over 860 screens across the country. It has since been touted as a highly promising film, recognized in TIFF’s selections for the 10 best Canadian features and shorts of 2020, and The Guardian’s 50 Best Films of 2020.
“When I think about the York film program, what I truly miss the most about it is the sense of community and the group of people who all have similar interests and aspirations. There was just an incredible bond.”
Despite the film’s release during a pandemic, for Morgan, it’s been a success story. “We obviously didn't have the opportunity to watch it with an audience, and it’s such a strange feeling when you're working on something for such a long period of time and suddenly it's out in the world before you even really had an opportunity to enjoy it together,” said Morgan. “But one of the high points of this whole release is just seeing those reviews float to the surface. They've been a really great supplement for us to actually being able to watch the film with an audience.”
While The Kid Detective continues its run, Morgan wishes he “had another project close to being finished.” With different projects in various stages, he’s excited to work on something new. He says that time at York was a uniquely creative period, and misses the community in the film program, where his imagination flourished.
“When I think about the York film program, what I truly miss the most about it is the sense of community and the group of people who all have similar interests and aspirations. I continue to work with the friends that I made in the program, and miss how everyone was so encouraging of each other’s’ unique talents and appetites. There was just an incredible bond. It was special and I knew I was going to miss it the way I do.”
For more information and to watch The Kid Detective on demand, click here.