Maxwell McGuire was born in Ottawa, Canada, on May 16th, 1981. Diagnosed at two with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic terminal disease, Max quickly realized that he had far less time to realize his filmmaking dreams than the average teenager with a camera. So he went to work.
In 1999, at the age of eighteen, Max shot, produced, and directed his first feature film, NEWTON’S LAW, with the help of a Canada Council for the Arts grant. The film was licensed by a Canadian distributor and taught him what he didn’t know – everything. His story received national media attention and the film was described as being “... smarter than any $45,000 first film has a right to be”. (Katrina Onstad - National Post 2002).
Max devoted the next few years to improving his craft by working on local productions, all the while attending courses in film direction and acting. He then set out to make his second feature film, “CROSSING THE WAKE”, in 2004 for $6000.00. CTW told the tale of a group of friends bound for college who come together for one fateful farewell weekend at a family cottage. Created as an homage to “The Big Chill”, he four-walled it in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles. “If the screenings result in Crossing the Wake coming to an independent theatre near you, see this film” (The Fulcrum 2005, Ottawa). It was sold internationally by Sullivan Entertainment to a couple of distant European territories – progress!
In 2006 Max partnered with writer Shawn Riopelle and came up with a personal story about his life experiences with Cystic Fibrosis. FOREVERLAND (2011) tells the story of Will Valley, an embittered, obsessively morbid young man stricken with CF who embarks on an epic road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway in search of a mystical cure. It’s about dreams and the courage to pursue them, and life’s small miracles.
The script received good buzz and attracted an amazing cast led by Max Thieriot (House at the End of the Street, Bates Motel). Max had the privilege of working with two Oscar nominees, Juliette Lewis and Demian Bichir, along with great character actors like Matt Frewer, Sarah Wayne Callies and Thomas Dekker. It was financed by every major institution in Canada and premiered at the Whistler Film festival (honourable mention audience award). It then sold out Palm Springs International film festival twice and was chosen by the festival director to privately screen to its board and financiers. Foreverland was released theatrically in Canada by EOne in June 2012 and VOD by FilmBuff. Vision films represents international sales, where it continues to move in major markets including Germany, Latin America and Brazil.
Perhaps more fulfilling to Max is the fact that Foreverland continues to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis globally. So far it’s screened in Ireland, Italy, Canada and Mexico City, where it’s helped raise over one hundred thousand dollars in support of CF, along with much needed awareness for the chronic illness that inspired the movie and Max’s filmmaking ambitions.
WOUNDED, Max’s current project draws on his experiences growing up hunting with his crazy family at their farm, where he was once told an unbelievable story that made its way into his latest script.
The Australian Premiere of Foreverland will screen November 28th, 2014. Money raised at this event will go to the Royal Children's Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust - please see details below.