Private Project

7 7

7 7 (seven seven) is an avant-garde/experimental narrative feature film.
The piece is a dream-like, meditation on love, identity, gender roles, and the nature of human consciousness. The non-linear and multiple narrative trajectories explore the deeper senses of the self and our relationships to photographic and cinematic images - both as subjects and voyeurs.

Two strangers experience a sudden death/re-birth that thrusts them into the most important relationship of their existence. Through their shattered new realities and each other, they search the dimensions of their psychological and emotional dilemmas for inner peace.

(DCP available for presentation)

  • Johnny Kalangis
    Jack & Jill (feature film), Love is Work (feature film), The Mad (feature film), Road Trips (1&2) (interactive film art installations), Airwaves (interactive film art installation)
  • Ryan McVittie
    Key Cast
    Love is Work, Pond Life
  • Sara Gilchrist
    Key Cast
    Queer as Folk, Seeking Simone
  • Kate Mior
    Key Cast
    Performance and installation artist.
  • Luc Montpellier
    Women Talking, Take This Waltz, Away From Her, The Saddest Music of the World
  • Shawn Bailey
  • johnny kalangis
  • Alexander Shuper
    Super Duper Alice Cooper, The Mad, Edge Codes: The Art of Motion Picture Editing
  • Alexandra MacKenzie
    Wander, The Devil's Trap
  • Ross McDonald
    Sound Design
    Home, The Burial of Kojo
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 16mm, 8mm, Video
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Cine Paris Film Festival
  • Athens International Art Film Festival
    HONOURABLE MENTION - Best Experimental Feature Film
  • Maracay International Film and Video Festival
    Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
    South American Premiere (online)
    WINNER - Best Experimental Feature Film
  • Rome Prisma Film Awards
    FINALIST - Best Feature Film
  • Boden International Film Festival
    Semi-Finalist Best Experimental Feature Film
  • Medusa Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    Best Performance - Kate Mior
  • World Film Carnival
    Outstanding Achievement- Best Experimental Film
  • World Film Carnival
    Outstanding Achievement - Best Soundtrack, Alexandra Mackenzie
  • Luis Bunuel Memorial Awards
    L’Age d’Or International Art-house Film Festival - Kolkata
    WINNER - Best Post Modern Film
  • Shockfest - Theater of Mystery
    New York
    United States
    December 10, 2022
    Honorable Mention
  • Cult Critic Movie Awards
    West Bengal
    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT - Best Post Modern Film/ NOMINEE - Jean-Luc Godard Award
  • Beyond The Curve International Film Festival
    September 20, 2022
    WINNER - Best Experimental Film
  • 4th Dimension International Film Festival
    September 30, 2022
    WINNER - Best Feature Film
  • AltFF International Film Festival
    NOMINATED - Best Feature Film
  • AltFF International Film Festival
    WINNER - Best Director
  • Madrid Indie Film Festival • MADRIFF
    November 17, 2022
    Official Selection
  • SIFF - Switzerland International Film Festival
    December 12, 2022
    Official Selection
  • SENSEI Tokyo FilmFest
    December 12, 2022
    Japanese Premiere
    Nominee - Best Feature Film, Best Score (Alexandra MacKenzie)
  • Samskara International Film Festival
    February 18, 2023
    WINNER - Best Experimental Film
  • Kalakari Film Festival
    March 18, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Esto Es Para Esto - Exhibidora de Cine
    June 10, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Experimental Brasil
    Campos Dos Goytacazes, Rio De Janeiro
    July 9, 2023
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Hiltz (Myles Shane)
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Johnny Kalangis

Johnny Kalangis (he/him) is a multi-award-winning film director, installation artist, and digital media creative from Toronto/T'karonto, Canada. He is a first-generation white settler of Greek descent.

His first feature film, the anti-romantic micro-budget comedy Jack & Jill premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (1999) and was executive produced by Atom Egoyan. His second film, Love Is Work, won the People’s Choice Award at the Whistler International Film Festival (2005) and was the closing gala at the Canadian Film Festival in Toronto. His horror-comedy, The Mad (2007), starring Billy Zane opened the Canadian Film Festival (Toronto) and enjoys cult classic status.

Johnny has done interactive, narrative film art installations at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche on three occasions. The pieces, Road Trips, Road Trips (1984) and, Airwaves allowed visitors to interact with their physical space to create and collaborate on their narrative experiences.

Johnny is currently the VP of Digital at Toronto’s Cream Productions. He executive produced CNN's Behind The Desk, The Story of Late Night (WINNER! 2022 Webby Award) podcast and the A Ghost Ruined My Life with Eli Roth (Discovery) podcasts. He also creates interactive digital media projects in augmented and virtual reality. He has designed games, game narratives and this year is also the executive producer on an album release. In the past he was a producer and executive at CBC Digital/TV and VP, Creative Director, Digital, and the multi-award-winning company, marblemedia.

He studied English, film theory and criticism, filmmaking, and interactive digital media at Western University, New York University, and the Canadian Film Centre.

7 7 is Johnny’s fourth feature film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I recently heard an artist say, ‘let it wash over you’ as a guide to their work. It’s been said before and seems obvious but I feel it applies here. Don’t need to know or follow ‘what’s going on’ in a conventional sense. Rather, consider using colour, shape, composition, montage, movement, rhythm, or audio as your guide. You might find you had an understanding of the piece regardless of how you might be unsure how to convey the story or the experience to another person.

7 7 is a place where a personal, abstract experience is encouraged... where it's validated, valued, and protected.
The experience is deliberately constructed and fluid but that's not to say the film behaves like others.

The project started over a decade ago with a three-day exploratory shoot from an outline I’d written based on long pieces of experimental music a friend gave me one day. When I considered the compositions, each unintentionally feature-film length, I imagined them as dreamlike 'screenplays' or epic languageless poems and wondered what it might mean to create a film-work with something like that as a starting place.

Meanwhile, I had been working with concepts like:

The intersections between self-discovery, identity and voyeurism.
How do we look for ourselves and each other in what we watch? How do we watch?

The timing of our deaths.
If two strangers suddenly die together (in the case of the film, a car crash) they’ve shared perhaps the most significant moment of their existence so, could that instance represent the beginning of one of the most important relationships of their lives? What might happen then? Would it be a love story? Would they use each other to come to peace or resolve past, present, and future issues?

The resulting creation is an avant-garde/experimental narrative comprised of numerous shooting and editing phases starting in 2011.

I don't wish to suggest that work has been done on 7 7 throughout all that time but rather that the concepts and participants matured and for a film meaning to create an authentically contemplative experience this ended up being the right process. Actors inhabited situations and characters with loose direction to enhance exploration and lead to profound, personal discoveries. Ultimately, the soundtrack was created while editing was happening, so direction, performance, photography, editing, sound, and music truly collaborated to arrive to create an organic, artistic conclusion. In a sense, we dreamt together.

Conventions in language in all art forms (written, spoken, visual, audio,etc) reinforce dominant culture and the power structures that control it. 7 7 renegotiates the structures and tools that create 'meaning' in film.

7 7 sets out to challenge status-quo narrative film conventions through structure, visual texture, and by featuring no (understandable) dialogue. I enforced this as an artistic constraint throughout the process because I wanted to abandon my comfort zones entirely and work in a fluid, emotional and intellectual space. At some points throughout the process, I wrote scenes but abandoned them quickly. I don't experience dreams with dialogue often so this didn’t feel authentic. I might recall that I was talking about something, but the specific words don't stay, only the essence of the exchange. Structurally, the experience starts in a relatively linear place and we can comfortably create a narrative from the information provided but soon, order and 'sense' are shattered into splinters of glass, like the windshield smashing in a car crash, and we must contemplate the situation in more fractured and personal ways. The elasticity of time and space, the questions of what happened before and after the crash, start to melt away into a new shared reality.

I wanted to have a narrative experience like 7 7 - one where everything could be ephemeral and open, and simultaneously one that is also deliberately constructed. A dream state with ordered fragments. Through the use of repetition, abstract connections between images, frame compositions, movement, character, event, and a hypnotic score/soundscape, I’m inviting the viewer to create their own narrative experience with few recognizable guidelines. They can decode their own feelings and thoughts as they lean into the dream and I feel like this allows space for emotional and intellectual contemplation.

This approach aims to unlock personal and expansive possibilities of narrative, theme, and statement to be discovered in 7 7. It asks both the characters in the film and audiences to explore their relationships with narrative form itself, projected images, the voyeurism inherent in the cinema as an experience, matters of gender roles, relationships, and the fragility of consciousness and ultimately existence itself.

The film can be read as an afterlife story where our main characters use their transition to a different time/space as an opportunity to revisit past real and imagined traumas to arrive at a state of peace; or, as a number of concurrent events that, like consciousness itself, bounce between dimensions, time, and states of awareness and action.

I am currently working on a companion essay for the film. For now I will provide the follow to those who might find it useful:

FILM SYNOPSIS (An optional framework from which viewers may construct or extract narrative)

7 7 starts when we meet two individuals living a routine, patterned first-world existence. We don’t witness them interacting with others but rather, in their more private, intimate moments… as if we’re spying on them. They are strangers to each other.

Then, they drive their cars into a crash with each other. By the violence of the event, one that smashes them through their respective windshields, we might think they are dead, but there is no evidence, and rather, there IS evidence that they have transitioned into an alternative state of consciousness or existence.

From there, 'The Couple' is introduced to a cast of archetypical characters, like ‘The Gatekeeper’, The Mother‘, ‘The Rival’, and others, and of course, each other thus starting the most significant relationships in their existences. If ‘death’ represents the most dramatic transition of consciousness, might those with whom it is experienced take on existential meaning?

The Couple then begins the non-linear journey through themselves and each other. They engage in an intimate relationship that unlocks other plains of their existences. Past, present, and future melt into one stream, and they dream together. They dream of their traumas, their influences, the roles they have played, those given to them by society, and their ‘lives’, experienced in both the ‘real world’ and in their imaginations blend.

They seek their identities, understanding, resolution, and transcendence through voyeuristic activities. Ultimately they focus on 'The Conduit'. This figure dresses up and takes selfies through which The Couple finds ways to explore their psychological and emotional layers in search of peace and resolve…. Until they’re caught and The Conduit turns their lens on them!

Upset and made vulnerable by this development, The Couple conspires to attack The Conduit and render them silent as a defense mechanism. But after unrest and argument, they awaken to their wrongdoing and release The Conduit.

In turn, The Conduit frees them and they drift away.