Hope's point

"Hope's point" is about a ghost visiting her grieving lover as she struggles to establish her new identity with an old friend.


Alomar Kocur, the director of the film, is a queer and trans filmmaker with a background in theatre. Aloe makes it her mission to create honest and empathetic screen-based experiences about LGBTQ+ realities. Hope's point is an official selection and a nominee of the 2022 summer seasonal festival of the Toronto Women Film Festival. "Hope's point" is available through Toronto Film Channel and Toronto Film Magazine. It is also our pleasure to speak to Alomar through the festival.



How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?

I started making videos when I was a kid and never stopped. Today, I work as a Content

Producer for York University where I make promotional and recruitment videos.

I don’t have formal film school training, so most of what I know is self-taught or learned on-set

from filmmaking mentors. I also deeply study my favorite films and watch video essays online

about them. It’s amazing how much you can learn from YouTube alone.

My formal training was in Theatre at York University, and my approach for Hope’s Point leaned

on my strengths as a theatremaker; I let the actors play with long takes, and we had a fixed

camera placement for each scene to give the audience a sense of occupying physical space.

In my first real film gig, I was as a 1 st AD and Cinematographer for The Youth Climate Report, a

documentary produced by Mark Terry and directed by my brother Ray Kocur – who I consider to

be a mentor. For that project, we travelled across Canada and the United States as a small film

crew, interviewing various leaders in Climate Action and recording them at work. The film

eventually premiered at the United Nations’ COP 21 conference in Paris, and that experience

taught me how to make impactful cinema with very few resources.


What genre of filmmaking are you looking to work on and why? 

I’m open to all genres if there’s an impactful story behind it. My mission is to produce stories

that feature Transgender characters and experiences, but I don’t like classifying LGBTQ stories

as a “Genre”, because queer stories and queer characters belong in all genres of film.


(left to right) Cassidy Furman, Alomar Kocur, Kinley Mochrie, Tony Ofori


What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker?

I’d say the most challenging aspect is getting buy-in. Not only financially, but from the key

collaborators who are necessary to get your film off the ground. It can be demoralizing when

you’re missing pieces in the pre-production phase, whether that’s cast, crew or even a location.

With Hope’s Point, I approached Tony Ofori to do a script reading while it was still in

development. His early work with me was not only integral in shaping the script, but it was

immediately clear that Tony was perfect for the lead role, “Michael”. And after the reading,

Tony voiced his belief in the project at a time when I really needed to hear it. I can credit his

early buy-in for the momentum shift that turned Hope’s Point from an “idea” into a

“production”.


How challenging is it to fund indie films?

It’s especially challenging as a first-time filmmaker because you don’t have a track record when

applying for grants. Public funding organizations want to feel assured that you are going to

follow-through on their investment, and it’s hard to provide those assurances when you don’t

have a list of credits to your name.


Hope’s Point was funded almost entirely out-of-pocket from savings I had accumulated over the

pandemic. We also benefitted from free location and lodging. My family owns and operates a

campground called “Woodland Park” in Arden, Ontario, and they generously allowed us to stay

and shoot the film at their location without charge.


Cast and Crew: (top L to R) Kinley Mochrie, David Machado, Tony Ofori (bottom L to R) Leanne Hoffman, Alomar Kocur, Cassidy Furman

Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your

work?

Steve McQueen changed how I viewed cinema. There’s a scene in Hunger where the camera sits

with Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham in a two-shot for 17 minutes straight, and it’s

absolutely enthralling. There’s no camera movement or flashy effects to keep the audience

engaged, just two actors fully invested in the story. I love that he has that level of trust in his

actors, and I’m deeply inspired by that.

I also have a soft spot for Lana and Lilly Wachowski as trailblazers for Trans Women in

Hollywood. As a kid, I was fascinated by the Matrix Trilogy. And when I revisit the series today,

I can’t help but be inspired by the Trans symbology they hid inside of it.


What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?

Right now I’m focused on promoting Hope’s Point. The cast and crew poured their hearts into

this project, so I want to reward that by getting as many eyes on the film as possible.

Beyond that, I have a couple new scripts in the works, and I’ve agreed to Produce a short film

that I can’t name yet, written and directed by a queer filmmaker who’s supremely intelligent in

their chosen genre.


A still from Hope's point



What was the inspiration behind your latest film project?

I started writing Hope’s Point at the beginning of the pandemic. As I mentioned, my mom and

step-dad own and operate a campground north of Kingston. I fled there to escape COVID’s early

chaos in the city. At that time, I had only recently started expressing my gender outwardly, so

while there was comfort in being far from the outbreak, I also felt isolated from Toronto’s queer

community.

I became inspired by a cabin on their property, and over time a story began to develop in my

head about a Trans Woman who isolates herself in a cabin for more tragic reasons. Their

property was a huge inspiration for how the story would unravel. Some of the scenes you’ll see

in the film were written with those specific locations and camera placements in mind. It’s

amazing that we brought it all to life when we went to camera a year later.

From the beginning I always had the vision of shooting the film from the Ghost’s perspective. A

few years prior, I had invested in a professional grade 360-degree camera, so when it came time

for production, I knew that we would use that camera for a unique grounded perspective.

Shooting it this way will also allow us to cut together a version of the film in full Virtual Reality.


A still from Hope's point

How did you find the cast and the crew of the film?

Tony is a member of ACTRA, so after we had him on-board I knew we had to make it an

ACTRA production. I put out a call to outACTRAto for queer actresses to audition for the

remaining roles. That led me to cast Paula Carreño in the role of “the Ghost”, and Kinley

Mochrie as the titular role of “Hope”. I’m glad to have met these two talented actresses, and I

know I’ll be working with both of them again. Kinley and I connected deeply over our shared

experiences as Trans Women, and it reinforced for me how important this story is.

I knew Cassidy Furman from our time together in York Theatre, and I personally approached her

to audition for “Violet”. I had a feeling her personality would be perfect for the role, and she

absolutely nailed the audition.

I brought on another collaborator from my York days in Leanne Hoffman to serve as 1 st AD. It

was her first time taking on an AD’ing role, but she turned out to be perfect for it. She kept my

disorganized brain on-track, and her enthusiasm was infectious for the cast and crew.

Lastly, I found a Sound Recordist, Sound Designer and Composer in David Machado via posting

in a Facebook group, of all things. David was a blessing in bringing Hope’s Point to life in

sound, he’s multi-talented and truly a treasure to collaborate with.


What is the distribution plan of the film and did the film receive any screenings or was it

featured in festivals?

We’re rolling the dice with the festival circuit right now. The Toronto International Women Film

Festival is our digital premiere. And we are excited to see where we will gather for our first in-

person screening.


Why do you make films and what kind of impact would your work have on the world?

Historically, Trans Folks haven’t had ownership over our stories. To the average cisgendered

filmgoer, a Trans character is usually an archetype or a martyr, but there’s so much more to our

lives than that. I make films to showcase that Trans people are people; we have jobs and

responsibilities, we have friends and love interests, we have flaws and fears, we have strengths

and maybe sometimes superpowers.

I hope that my work can resonate with Trans audiences and give them the representation that

they crave on-screen, while also resonating with audiences at-large to offer a fuller perspective

of the Trans experience.


Click to Watch Hope's point: