Local young people shine in first ‘Odd Squad’ movie
They were nervous. But only a little bit.
Sitting in the Coca-Cola room of the Silver-City Mountain Cinema on Saturday morning, the four of them could hardly sit still.
More than 200 kids and their parents were streaming into the theatre below for the Hamilton première of “Odd Squad: The Movie.” And these four Hamilton-area kids star in it.
“I wanted it to be perfect,” said Isaac Kragten, 14, off the heels of the red carpet première in Toronto on Friday night.
Kragten — dubbed “Hollywood” by the kids in his hometown of Caledonia — plays Agent Otis. He was nervous to see the completed film.
“I didn’t expect it to be that funny. But I was belly laughing.”
“Odd Squad” started as a live action, children’s TV series featuring young agents who use indirect reasoning and math to solve and investigate strange happenings.
Created and produced by Canadian Sinking Ship Entertainment, it premièred on TVOKids in Canada and PBS Kids in the U.S. in 2014. The show has been nominated 31 times and won 12 Canadian Screen Awards and Daytime Emmy Awards.
This the first feature-length cinema release for Sinking Ship — much of which was filmed in Hamilton.
It stars Michela Luci, 10, Olivia Presti, 11, and Jaiden Cannatelli, 10.
All of them agree it’s a surreal experience to see themselves on the big screen.
“Sometimes actors are afraid to see their scenes,” says Cannatelli, who has appeared in several films and commercials. He describes his character, Ohlm, in “Odd Squad” as bit of a dork.
Cannatelli shares he was bullied at school because of that role and had to learn quickly not to digest the negative comments.
“We all relate to our characters in a way,” says Luci, 10, who missed the première the night before. She was up at 5:45 a.m. headed for the set of her next role — the lead in another popular children’s show, “Dino Dan.”
Luci started acting just three years ago at age seven. She’s been working full time as an actress for months now, starting her day at 5:45 a.m. and keeping up with school work through a tutor on the set.
“She just keeps going and never complains,” said her mom, Lucy Fricano.
For 11-year-old Presti, the movie is a success and she hopes for more auditions to pursue an acting career.
“It’s really cool to see the final product,” she said.
Before the movie — playing in two packed theatres at the Paramount Drive cinema — the foursome stood in front of the screen and thanked the crowd for coming to see their movie.
“We love you,” a voice rang out from the crowd.
Clockwise from left, Isaac Kragten, Olivia Presti, Jaiden Cannatelli and Michela Luci are in the new “Odd Squad: The movie” that opened Saturday morning.