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Conor McNally on incarceration, isolation, his film ‘Very Present’


How does prolonged confinement shape our experience of time? That’s the question at the heart of a new short film by Edmonton-based Métis filmmaker, Conor McNally.

In Very Present, Conor explores his brother’s incarceration, as a metaphor for the isolation many of us feel. The film is part of a new National Film Board showcase called The Curve, inspired by the COVID lockdown.

Conor McNally spoke with Tony King about the inspiration behind the film, and his choice to shoot the movie in a format that required him to be “very present.”

To see Conor McNally’s film Very Present and other COVID-19 inspired shorts, check out

To get a sense of Conor McNally’s 16mm filmmaking style, here’s his recent music video for nêhiyawak‘s “Tommaso:”