Cloudburst is a romantic road movie written and directed by Thom Fitzgerald.
It stars Oscar®-winning actresses Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as Stella and Dot, an aging couple who escape from a nursing home in Maine and drive to Nova Scotia on a quest to be legally married. Stella and Dot have been together for 31 years and have faithfully accompanied one another through life's ups and downs. Now in their seventies, Stella is hard of hearing and Dot is legally blind. Dotty's prudish granddaughter, Molly (played by Genie Award-winner Kristin Booth), decides the best place for Dot is a nursing home that will provide all the necessities. This forces Stella and Dot to make a bold decision: they will leave their hometown and make their way to Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal. It's a last-gap bid to stay together. En route to Canada, they pick up a young hitchhiker, Prentice, played by newcomer Ryan Doucette. A small-town boy turned modern dancer, he is returning to Nova Scotia to visit his dying mother. Despite his bravado, Prentice is a confused and wounded soul who has much to learn from Stella and Dot as they wage their own unexpected battle – after three decades, can they keep their family together?
With equal parts humour and grace, Cloudburst explores the important themes of life, death and love through the eyes of this oddball trio.
The film also stars Michael McPhee as Molly's husband Tommy; Marlane O'Brien as Prentice's mother; Randy Bolliver as Prentice's father; and Mary-Colin Chisholm and Steve Arnold as Stella and Dot's helpful neighbours.
Fitzgerald (3 Needles, The Hanging Garden) originally staged Cloudburst as a play in April 2010, at Plutonium Playhouse in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It won the 2011 Merritt Award, Nova Scotia's theatre award, for Best New Play.
Cloudburst was filmed over seven weeks in a variety of locations throughout Nova Scotia.
It is presented by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), founded by veteran producer Sidney Kimmel in 2004. The Los Angeles-based independent production and finance company specializes in bringing high-profile, quality entertainment projects to contemporary audiences via major studio distribution partners. SKE titles include United 93, The Kite Runner, and Lars and the Real Girl as well as the comedies Adventureland and Death at a Funeral.