a Short Film by Ryan Northcott
Once Upon a Pandemic
Official Selection of the 2020 Edmonton International Film Festival
and Oakville Film Festival
Once Upon a Pandemic Film Poster

Once Upon a Pandemic

A heartwarming and heartbreaking film from Writer/Director Ryan Northcott and MEDIAPOP Films. An Official Selection of the 2020 Edmonton International Film Festival and the 2020 Oakville Film Festival.

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Film Trailer

About the Film

“Once Upon a Pandemic” is the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of a young girl Maddie, self-isolated in her home during a global pandemic while her Mom is in strict quarantine away from the family. Maddie leans on her Dad for guidance, but finds that he can’t always be there for her, so she learns to cope with a heartbreaking twist with the resiliency only a child has.

Ryan wrote the screenplay one morning while in self-isolation, touching on the new reality that parents are navigating – teacher, entertainer, psychologist – all while trying to maintain a level of strength in a world turned upside down. What struck him was the strength and resilience that our children have exhibited, more specifically how well his daughter Maddie has handled such change.

Left to their own devices, what would a child do in a situation like the one faced during a global pandemic?


Director Ryan Northcott Interview with CityNews

Once Upon a Pandemic Director Ryan Northcott chatted with CityNews Sandra Prusina about the film.

Cast & Creator

Ryan Northcott Director Producer Actor Cinematographer Editor MEDIAPOP

Ryan Northcott as “Dad”

~ Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor ~

Ryan Northcott is a Canadian actor, producer, director, and writer. Some of Northcott’s most recognizable roles over the 20+ year career includes the young rookie Stevie Weeks in “Mystery, Alaska” and the kind-hearted Beach Boy Carl Wilson in the Emmy Nominated mini-series “The Beach Boys: An American Family”

More recently, Ryan can be seen in JANN, The Twilight Zone, Heartland, and the top-grossing Dutch film in the Netherlands for 2019 Penoza/Black Widow as the foul truck driver “Jimmy”.

Coming soon to screens, Ryan has a slew of roles in TV and Film including, “Let Him Go”, “Marlene” where he plays real life investigative journalist Julian Sher, “They Who Surround Us”, “Jasmine Road” and of course, proudly playing the role of “Mitch Wheeler” in the APTN show “Tribal”.

Northcott lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and has one daughter, Madeleine, who hopes to follow in his footsteps. Ryan still plays hockey as often as he can, is a nominal drummer, and is a mainstay in the Alberta film community as performer and filmmaker.


Kristin Booth Headshot Once Upon a Pandemic

Kristin Booth as “Mom”

Kristin Booth is a Canadian actor based in Toronto. In 2008 she made a breakthrough with two performances, as a desperate crack whore in “This Beautiful City” and a comic turn as part of an ensemble cast of “Young People F**king”, for which she was given the Genie Award for best supporting actress. Starting in 2014, she appears in the Hallmark original movie series Signed, Sealed, Delivered as Shane McInerney, a techie postal employee. Most recently she completed her role as Marlene Truscott in “Marlene”.


Madeleine Murphy-Northcott Headshot

Madeleine Murphy-Northcott as “Maddie”

Maddie is a new comer to film and television, but has an authentic sensibility as a child actor. She is the daughter of actor/filmmaker Ryan Northcott and made her first official appearance on film in “Once Upon a Pandemic”.


Upcoming Screenings

Edmonton International Film Festival

DATE: October 3, 2020
TIME: 12:00pm
LOCATION: Edmonton, AB, Canada
HOW TO WATCH: Landmark Cinemas 9 City Centre

Super Channel via EIFF

DATE: October 3, 2020
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: Super Channel (Fuse)
HOW TO WATCH: One-Time Broadcast on Super Channel

Gallery & Behind the Scenes Videos

Film Trivia & Tidbits (Spoilers)

  • Kristin Booth and Ryan Northcott worked together on the film “Marlene” about Marlene Truscott’s fight to exonerate her husband Steven Truscott from a crime he didn’t commit.
  • Madeleine is the daughter of Ryan Northcott.
  • The Book Maddie is reading in the film is “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, in one of the early shots of the film the back of the book cover reads: “Only after she escaped from fear did she really find her strength.”
    • Siri doesn’t respond to the Dad because she can’t hear him, he’s passed on.
    • The video Maddie watches of her Mom in quarantine on the iPad is the last video message her Mom sent before she passed on. Kristin Booth filmed this herself from Toronto.
    • When Maddie asks her Dad “do you think she’ll come back too” the word “too” is important as it alludes to the fact that her Mom has also passed away – her Dad is a vision manifested from her mind and she hopes her Mom will manifest herself too.

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