A Canadian written, directed, produced, and filmed movie is hitting the big screen at 8 p.m. tonight at Cinema Twin in Swift Current, with a special guest in attendance.  

Aaron James, the man behind the screen (and sometimes on it), is making his way to the local theatre tonight for his film Guitar Lessons’ debut show in the city. 

“I just say hello to the audience and welcome them,” James said. "There's only 12 people on the team, so the credits go by really fast, and I invite them to stay after for a Q&A and a visit at the end of the movie.”  

Guitar Lessons focuses on a 15-year-old Metis boy after he inherits a guitar from the father he never knew, who approaches a local 50-year-old rockstar turned oilman to teach him how to play it. 

The movie features country music artist Corb Lund as the ‘cantankerous oilman,’ who bonds with the young boy played by Kaden Noskiye. 

James is from Dixonville in the Peace River area of northern Alberta but had been working in Los Angeles for most of the last decade. 

During the height of the pandemic, when travelling across borders wasn’t easy or encouraged, he decided to return to his roots and be near his family in Calgary. 

It was around then that a friend of his asked James to substitute teach at a school up north in the province, where he met Grade 9 student Leland who often found himself getting into trouble. 

“He had kind of a twinkle in his eye,” James recalled. “And then he started packing around the little guitar, bringing it to class and asking me for guitar lessons in between classes. And that was the start. And so, I wrote a short story called Guitar Lessons, not knowing what I'd ever do with it.” 

James said some folks in High Level, Alberta caught wind of his story and asked him if he wanted to turn it into a movie, and film it in the area. 

Not long after, a script was written and a heart-warming motion picture about growing up was made.