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I Had a Bad Back and then I got Hit by a Cab

‘I Had a Bad Back Then I Got Hit by a Cab’ is a short film starring and based on interviews conducted with a local Toronto, Canada personality named John J. Bell. Throughout the film we follow our protagonist as he moves through his day, facing struggles with back pain and the addiction that has come with pain medication, his life in public housing, his past and the simple problems of day to day life like getting a haircut and caring for a pet bird.

The anchor of this short film is the larger than life personality of John J Bell. A born raconteur, with charm, style, humour and delightful eccentricities.

In this short film the filmmakers have set out to investigate if what the protagonist is saying is always the truth and how important that truth really is. This poetic short subtly moves through time, sadness and regret in a delightful and playful way.

Sadly John J. Bell, the protagonist, passed away during the shooting of this short film leaving many questions unanswered. We hope by getting this short film out into the world we may be able to find his daughter, his estranged wife or any other people that were connected to or a part of his life. As charming and full of life as this man was at the end there was no one who came to claim his body. This short, hopefully, is not the end but the beginning of a journey into a life lived uniquely.

  • Graham Shishkov
  • Hart Dylan Webster
  • Graham Shishkov
  • John J Bell
    Key Cast
    "John J Bell"
  • Jerry Sokolowski
    Key Cast
    "Large Larry"
  • Vito Barberino
    Key Cast
  • Hart Dylan Webster
  • Hart Dylan Webster
  • Hart Dylan Webster
    Art Direction
  • Hart Dylan Webster
    Assistant Director
  • Chris Bartos
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 22, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,977 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm, super 8mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Graham Shishkov

Graham Shishkov works for the CBC as an editor and segment director in Yellowknife, Canada. A man of the land Graham is as comfortable in a luxurious suite as in the cold winter terrain of Yellowknife. His friends call him Graham, his close friends call him Gord but most know him as Lord Gord.

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Director Statement

The director is attempting to bridge the line between documentary and fiction, between the truth of the stories we tell and the truth of what really happened. The goal is to turn reality into fiction, and fiction back into reality and to pick up the lost and fallen pieces in between.