Just A Prayer” is about Anita, a Muslim woman who seems to have everything, but who is deeply dissatisfied with her life and the path she sees ahead of herself. She makes a major decision that she believes will bring her happiness and opportunity, but that only brings her unexpected regret. Anita finds solace through a Catholic group, and a few years later, we find her living in a convent as a novitiate. The film is grounded in the present, but flows between her life now as a novice, and the events of five years ago.
Despite the controversial themes the story engages with, “Just A Prayer” is not an examination of any particular issue or religion, but more a study of one woman who is stuck living in a pattern of discontent; who lets her need to escape fuel her decisions; who despite all the faith, structure and community she surrounds herself with, is always trying to find a way not to feel so alone.
Festivals and Awards
FILMI South Asian Film Festival, Toronto 2013 World Premiere
Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, Vancouver 2013
Women’s Voices Now, Online Festival, 2014
PLAYR, York Region Film Festival, 2014 *Award for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY*
MISAFF, Mississauga 2014
Writer, Executive Producer and Lead Actor, Farah Merani, is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Toronto and recently completed an MA from the Drama Centre London, London UK. Upon returning to Toronto in 2012, she joined the Blue Flame Collective and is now the Lead Producer on the 2013 Slate entitled The Village Global. She is also presently developing her first feature film, Goodnight, Amherst, slated for production in 2015 under her production company, Lifeguard Productions. As a professional actress, she has performed on stage and screen on both sides of the Atlantic, including Shakespeare’s Globe, The Old Vic Tunnels, and the Arcola Theatre in London. In Canada, she has appeared on The Listener, Lost Girl and Nikita.
Caris (Reid) Rait
Director Caris (Reid) Rait has a background in Camera Operating, Assistant Producing and Assistant Directing. Rait is an avid screenwriter and storyteller, having had a short script, Be There, selected as part of the development series ‘Writing Women’ where she met Merani and Producer, Lauren MacKinlay. Be There will be Rait’s 2nd piece of produced writing. Rait also wrote, directed and produced her first short film last year, The Personality of Numbers. Just A Prayer is Caris’ 2nd Short film as a Director.
Producer Lauren MacKinlay studied at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London UK, where she received an MA in Acting For Screen. Recently, MacKinlay served as Lead Producer with Merani for the Writing Women Screenplay Development Series, an extension of the Blue Flame Collective dedicated to female-focused films. MacKinlay is an Associate Artist of the Blue Flame Collective and a professional actress, working on the stage and screen in Toronto since 2009. She has also enjoyed producing 6 short films to date, including Kiss, for which she wrote, executive produced and served as lead actress.
Kirsten Dahlin Nolan
Producer Kirsten Dahlin Nolan enjoys moving through mediums looking for the best way to tell stories. She grew up a dancer and musician, and later found strengths in acting and writing. Dahlin Nolan balances her creative roles with behind-the-scenes work as a Casting Associate in film and television, and a First AD on the award-winning web-series Gay Nerds. Kirsten is proud to play Producer for the first time on Just A Prayer.