BASED ON A TRUE STORY...
One missed note can ruin everything.
Based on true events, Dystonia tells the story of violinist James Wong who, while studying at McGill University, is diagnosed with Focal Hand Dystonia: a neurological movement disorder causing the muscles of a player’s hand to involuntarily contract. As he tries to get a handle on his injury, his pride and fear of failure soon take a dire toll on his love life, his involvement with McGill’s top string quartet…and himself.
SHORT FILM SYNOPSIS
Primed to impress, James Wong is performing Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto for his teacher, Mark Fewer. The run-through comes to a stop as Mark notices that James’ ring finger is moving erratically. After failed attempts to control it, James realizes that he may be faced with a career-altering problem.
Weeks later, James sits alone in a practice room, research papers on ‘Focal Hand Dystonia’ sit by his side. While practicing, he learns that he is late for a quartet coaching and rushes to the hall. When he arrives, Mark informs James that he is being replaced.
That night, a depressed James wakes up to a phone call from his girlfriend, Emily. Increasingly distant since the incident, he ignores her fifth call of the day, instead seeking solace by picking up his violin to work on his physical issue. As the involuntary muscle contractions persist through each playing attempt, he soon breaks down from frustration. Concerned, Emily unlocks the apartment door to find James crying on the floor. Too proud to admit his troubles, James continues to refuse her help, leading to a heart-breaking fight. Emily runs out and James wallows in despair, alone and unable to play.
Julian Stamboulieh began his media career as an actor and a freelance video editor in 2004 in Montreal. After receiving his BFA in Photography, and creating his production company, Beanduck, alongside producing partner Benjamin Warner, he soon found himself in his directorial debut.
In 2013, Julian created and directed LARPs, a scripted comedy web series that received worldwide critical acclaim. With a licensing deal from Legendary Digital Network’s Geek & Sundry, a second season was financed, with both seasons acquiring 10+ international awards and 3.5+ million views. He has since directed several short films, including Caged, which won Best Film at the ACTRA Montreal Short Film Festival in 2018.
Julian approaches projects with a playful yet critical eye. He values the audience first and foremost, always striving to provide them an experience that is fun and original, as well as intelligent and respectful.
Kenny is a Montreal-based actor and violinist with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from McGill University. On screen, Kenny worked on such shows as ‘Titans’ (DC/Netflix), ‘Good Sam’ (Netflix), ‘The Bold Type’(Freeform), ‘Killer High’ (Syfy), ‘Jack Ryan’ (Amazon) and ‘Lost Generation’(New Form). Most recently, he wrapped on ‘Slaxx’ (EDM Films), a SODEC-funded thriller feature set to come out next year, as well as a guest-star role in Season 3 of ‘Frankie Drake Mysteries’ (CBC). Kenny is currently filming Season 1 of CTV’s new medical drama, ‘Transplant’.
Off screen, Kenny writes and produces his own projects. His TV drama pilot, ‘Death Divided’, was a finalist (Top 25 out of over a 1000 submissions) at the WeScreenplay Television Competition. His feature film script, ‘Dystonia’ was a finalist at the Golden Script Competition and received the Telefilm New Voices Award from the Toronto Screenwriting Conference in 2017. In January 2019, production for a short film version began after the script received grants from TakingitGlobal and Jeunes Volontaires. Most recently, ‘Dystonia’ was shortlisted for the National Screen Institute’s Features First Program.
SYDNEY VAN DELFT
Sydney van Delft is an actor, dancer, singer, and producer from Toronto. She is a former Canadian Champion rhythmic gymnast and attended the National Ballet School of Canada before going on to pursue film and television. Sydney has performed with the National Ballet of Canada in "The Nutcracker", "Pastorale", and "The Contract". Some of her previous TV credits include “Falling Water” (USA Network), “Reign” (CW), “Degrassi” (CTV), “Life with Derek” (Disney), and “The Latest Buzz” (Family) and various feature films. Sydney recently wrapped the feature, "On The Count of Three" directed by Jerrod Carmichael.
Sydney also holds an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and is a designated Chartered Accountant. With her business and creative background she has produced projects such as “Moon Dog” (National Screen Institute and Canadian Film Fest), “The Talk” (Amazon Prime, Kevin Hart Laugh Out Loud competition finalist) and “Extreme Actor” (Bell Fibe TV, Fearless.com). Sydney was selected as the producer for the Toronto Actra Women’s Committee Short Film Creation Lab and received the TakingITGlobal and Jeunes Volontaires Grants to produce her next short film “Dystonia”, currently in development for the feature film.
Benjamin Warner graduated with distinction from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Film Production. He is the cofounder of Beanduck Productions, and the company's General Manager. Alongside fellow cofounder Julian Stamboulieh and third partner Elizabeth Neale, he is excited that Beanduck's studio in Montreal has become a hub for the English language acting community in the city where actors can come for a variety of performer services and tool building workshops and opportunities.
Since 2012 Benjamin has produced over a dozen motion picture projects. His largest series with Beanduck, LARPs, ran for two seasons in 2015 on the YouTube channel Geek & Sundry, a subsidiary of Legendary Pictures, and won him over a dozen awards as well as many other nominations and accolades. In 2018 he won Best Short Film for Caged at the ACTRA Montreal Short Film festival. Now he has moved into the live broadcasting space as well with Beanduck having launched its own streaming channel on the platform Twitch in early 2019, boasting an initial launch roster of four different programs spread over three evenings each week.