By RON FANFAIR
It takes some longer than others to figure out what they should be doing with their life.
Ian Agard spent three years at York University pursuing psychology yet, deep down, he knew that was not his career goal.
However, it was not until after watching Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at the 2000 Toronto International Film festival that Agard was able to develop a strategic vision for his career plan.
“I knew there and then that that was what I wanted to do,” said the independent film-maker, who recently released his first feature, Bend and Break.
In 2004, Agard studied acting at HB studio in New York and landed a principal role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Fiorello, and a supporting part in the short film, The Diploma.
Back in Canada a year later, Agard appeared in a TV commercial for Fallsview Casino and a 1-800-got-junk commercial that aired on TBS networks and in two student films, Nothing to Die For and Arthur Moore and The Lone Wolf.
Raised in Cambridge before coming to Toronto to attend university, Agard established Agardfilm two years ago and produced two short films, Karma, that aired on U.S. television and was later acquired by Ouat Media Distribution Company, and Give that he also produced and directed.
He also enrolled in a one-year Canadian government-funded Independent Film & Television Producer’s Program at Centennial College.
“This program provided me with the tools I needed to learn more about becoming a successful film and TV producer and entrepreneur,” said Agard. “It also meant that I could attend school and not have to worry about working and trying to get funds.”
Agard said he combined the grant funds, personal savings and financial help from his Caribbean-born parents (his dad was born in Guyana and his mom is from Trinidad & Tobago) to produce his first 54-minute feature film which was released last month.
“Making your first feature film is always the hardest,” he said. “I was tired and stressed out but I kept going back to the set every day because of my love and passion for the movies and how they can impact people’s lives in a positive way. Every time I wanted to complain, I kept reminding myself that I was doing work I love and I had the opportunity to share my passion with a wider audience.”
The film was shot in his midtown apartment, Regent Park and at the Toronto Public Library in seven days and production lasted six months.
Now 34, Agard acknowledges that it took him quite a while to determine his career goal.
“It was a long and bumpy road, but I eventually found my niche,” he said. “Everybody knows what they want to do, but they might be scared or not clear about how to go about it. It took me a while but I am on my journey.”
Agard is working on his fourth film, No Ordinary Love, a romantic movie to be released later this year.
His first feature can be purchased online at www.bendandbreakmovie.com.