After a series of upsetting romantic setbacks, Dolore is finally beginning to embrace a positive relationship with her new boyfriend, Riun (with a generous dose of trepidation). But, when Dolore introduces Riun to her best friend, Sinead, and discovers that they have a less-than-platonic personal history, Dolore’s insecurity and interpersonal fears get kicked into hyperdrive and threaten to destroy both relationships. 

With a little help from Riun and Sinead, who won’t let her go without a fight, and the manifestation of a pop star alter ego named Fierce, Dolore struggles to combat her paranoia and anxiety before they consume her and the people she loves.

Sensitive Parts is the fourth micro-budget narrative feature film from impassioned young auteur Brendan Prost, which reunites many of the collaborators from his previous feature Spaces and Reservations and his award-winning SFU grad film Getting There. Shot on a self-financed budget of $8000 in the spring of 2015 in the lower mainland of British Columbia, during two weeks of “vacation” from everyone’s day jobs, Sensitive Parts was devised as an opportunity to combat the lingering consequences of past emotional trauma. 

In the months leading up to the production, actress Carolyn Yonge and writer/director Prost spent hours developing a character with an exaggerated sense of social fear and anxiety that was rooted in their own personal experience. After fleshing out Dolore as the main character, Prost wrote a script that thrust Dolore into her (and his) own worst nightmare—an embarrassing violation of the sanctity of relationships that were previously considered safe—and then imagined how she would respond based on some of his own impulses.

To complete the film’s unfortunate love triangle, Prost envisioned characters specifically for actors Jennifer Kobelt and Sean Marshall, and conversed with them throughout the scriptwriting stage to explore how to make their roles personally resonant and complete with their own more restrained anxieties. Then, after a rigorous casting search, Prost partnered with veteran theatre actor Monice Peter to breathe life into the confident part of Dolore’s ego—the imaginary manifestation of a popstar called “Fierce”. Originally written as a loving homage to Beyonce, Monice and Brendan worked together to create a unique character that embodied many of the same qualities as Queen Bey, but complete with her own sense of humour and wisdom.

During a whirlwind 12 shooting days, with the assistance of a generous volunteer crew of former collaborators and eager newcomers, what started out as a fun situational comedy transformed into something unexpectedly potent and dramatic. A high-stress and high-stakes production period ignited sparks almost as disruptive as the action at the heart of the film’s narrative. As the characters and artists collided in parallel and confronted their personal insecurities during the shooting period, Sensitive Parts evolved into a prescient and empathetic portrayal of how the lingering consequences of people’s interpersonal history can sabotage even the most solid of relationships. 

The final film, after a ruthless four-month edit and the addition of an inventive original score from composer Drew Redman, is a sharply-observed and tightly-plotted feature that bounds effortlessly between outlandish situational humour to resonant character drama—and back again—in a brisk 70 minute run time. And, despite the difficult production period, Sensitive Parts is ultimately a hopeful film about people’s potential strength, the resilience of female friendship, and the possibility for self-transformation in the face of emotional crisis. 

I conceived of Sensitive Parts as an aspirational journey of self-transformation. I wanted to create something that would inspire me to shake the shackles of my own personal fears and self-doubt, at a time in my life when I was beginning to sense how those insecurities might destroy me one day. 

Dolore actually describes the direct inspiration for Sensitive Parts midway through the movie. Like her, I had a moment when I realized that I was fearful of someone I was falling in love with. Thinking about the power I was entrusting to this person as I came to care for them more and more, I began to panic when I imagined how they could use this power against me. This panic fueled my paranoia and mistrust, and my paranoia ultimately began to sabotage my ability to enjoy and appreciate my partner. And, as I thought about it more and more, I realized that I had similar apprehensions about all the peopled I cared about in my life, friends and collaborators alike.

Sensitive Parts is ultimately about a character who is forced to confront the potentially debilitating consequences of their insecurity and social anxiety, and discovers that the ability to overcome those fears is a matter of strength, will and self-love. The aspirational part of the story is that it’s about a character who experiences a revelation that I hope to. 

But, Sensitive Parts isn’t just about one person dealing with the lingering consequences of their interpersonal history. When I begun to discuss the project with friends and peers during the writing process, I came to understand that Dolore’s insecurity (and mine) wasn’t so peculiar. When I started collaborating with the actors, it became even clearer that almost everyone carries scars with them into a new relationship. Although Dolore is an especially “sensitive” person, Sinead and Riun are also characters struggling with how their past informs their emotional needs and expectations in the present. The narrative of the film is a collision of these three individuals; an isolated snapshot of the intertwining of anxieties that takes place in all our relationships and social interactions.

We’ve all got our sensitive parts, and we’re all in search of someone to tell us that we’re memorable; that we’re worthy of redemption; or that we’re loveable. Sometimes that person is a boyfriend, sometimes it’s a best friend, and sometimes it’s a feminist pop icon (or other imaginary friend). But, hopefully, the person you can count on to whisper in your ear and tell you that you’re awesome… is you.

I set out to make a project that would help me combat some deep-seated emotional insecurities and fears, in the anticipation that the filmmaking process would be transformational in some way. I hope very much that the experience of watching the movie for people has the same potential to transform them, and remind them that they too can be “Fierce”.

 Duration: 69 minutes
 Picture: HD Video - 1.78 (16x9) - Colour
 Sound: 5.1 Surround Sound or Stereo
 Production Budget: approximately $7000 CAN
 Camera: Blackmagic Cinema Camera
 Edit: Final Cut Pro 7
 Colour: DaVinci Resolve 12
 Presentation Formats: DCP, BluRay, HDCamhttp://spacesfilm.com
SENSITIVE PARTSSensitive-Parts-film.html

Sensitive Parts (2016, feature film) is a dramatic comedy about a young forced to combat her interpersonal fears and anxieties before they destroy her relationships with her best friend and her new boyfriend, with a little help from the imaginary manifestation of an iconic popstar.  Written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Brendan Prost.
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