after 19 movie

Toronto filmmaker's short film on COVID-19 acts as a PSA for those not taking pandemic seriously

Toronto filmmaker Brandon Mohan has spent his time in quarantine working on his latest project, a short film about the coronavirus outbreak, After-19

“As news spread of COVID-19 and some people not taking it seriously, I thought it would be a great idea to re-work my short film and turn it into an apocalyptic PSA,” Mohan explains.

“[The film] provides the audience with a suspenseful story while also providing them with knowledge of what we can do to prevent our own demise.”

The nine-minute film, which takes place years after the COVID-19 pandemic, opens to Mohan as John Harrison, one of the last survivors of the outbreak, sitting on Dundas Peak and then cuts to a shot of him walking down a desolate road with no one else in sight.

“I wanted to capture the absence of humanity so I searched for locations that depicted desolation,” he said.

“The locations in the first half of the film are Dundas Peak and Sherman Falls which are both located in Hamilton, Ontario, followed by the abandoned Barber Paper Mill located in Halton Hills.”

When Mohan’s character is in the deserted mill, his eyes are drawn to the graffitied words: “Humanity was the virus” on the cement floor, a line that he considers relevant to the current pandemic.

“There are times we take so much for granted in our day to day lives that we forget how much our actions can impact everything around us,” he said.

“I think sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the damage that we cause to our planet and also reflect on what contributions we're making to our society.”

Mohan says it was a mostly solo project, besides a few shots in the first half of the film, which two of his friends helped capture while still maintaining social distance.

Though the film is fictitious, Mohan says he hopes it will help people understand the gravity of the current health crisis – as well as, what could happen in the long run should we not follow instructions on how to prevent further spreading of the virus such as social distancing, washing our hands, and avoiding large public areas.

“We are responsible for our own decisions and our own actions. We can choose to follow the rules and slow down the spread, or we can ignore the rules and help the virus grow," he said. 

“The main takeaway should be that we can stop this if we each do our part.” 

Lead photo by

Brandon Mohan


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