Interview with Tina Pehme, Producer of Anthem of a Teenage Prophet

By: Paula Navratil

Fumbling towards understanding the world is the most familiar format for most coming-of-age stories, but Anthem of a Teenage Prophet overlays the exploration of death as an extension of life to make for a more complex and fresh approach. Where there is darkness you will also find light. We were excited to get a chance to speak with the film’s producer Tina Pehme for her take on this nostalgic genre.

Reflecting on the more than four year process that this film took to develop, Tina’s own teenagers helped her reflect on how as we age we each need to explore the world, its light and dark and the role of others within it to help sort it all out.

“Anthem comes from a very real beginning,” states Pehme noting that the story is born not only from the award-winning book of the same name by Canadian author Joanne Proulx, but also influenced by the real-world experiences of the collective creative team including director Robin Hays, and screen writers Elisha Matic and Josh Close.

As the title character grapples with the death of a close friend, and his indirect otherworldly connection to it, Pehme’s pinpoints that this is what makes this film’s storytelling unique. “It explores issues that not many people talk about; how light is the other side of darkness; how we develop through friendships; and how we explore who we are and want to be”.

One of the most compelling things of this film is that it is set in the late 1990s, and stars Juliette Lewis, a true icon of that era as the anchor for the film’s main character. Having one solid connection is the grounding that this teenager needs to survive the chaos of his world and Pehme identifies with this struggle having raised and continuing to raise her own teenage children. We all need someone significant in our lives to provide an anchor.

Anthem of a Teenage Prophet

When: October 6, 2018 at 6:00pm and October 7, 2018 at 3:45pm

Where: Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton St, Vancouver BC

Cost: $10-$15


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