POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Sam Roberts of Pound Ridge has been putting his broken heart on paper since his father died in 1985.
What started out as a poem in 1986 turned into an idea for a screenplay that has been more than 20 years in the making. The Montreal native and actor spent 12 years as the voice of Turner Network Television, all the while trying to write the ode to his late father that could heal the wounds of his passing.
“When my father passed away, it rocked my world,” said Roberts, whose eyes welled and speech slowed the more he spoke of his dad.
When Roberts lost his voiceover job in 2007, he made it his job to finish ‘a fish story,’ which now has won 17 independent film festival awards and is looking for a distributor.
“I wrote it to heal my own heart. The beautiful side story to this is, son of a gun, it’s healing other people’s hearts too,” he said, brimming with pride.
Roberts held a Q&A Tuesday, Feb. 25, at The Harvey School in Katonah after screening his film, which tells the story of a family struggling with the loss of their patriarch and holding onto him through the lake-side cabin that he built and loved. The three children work to complete the cabin in his memory, much as Roberts worked to complete the screenplay.
Roberts said his father died the day he finished building his cabin in Sauveur Des Monts, Canada (near Montreal), where his mother lives to this day.
“The cabin is essentially the main character in the story,” said Patrick Collins, of Katonah, who has a role in the movie.
Roberts, whose son attends Fairfield University, originally intended to play himself, as the middle child angry at his father for dying before he could see him succeed. By the time the film was shot in 2011, he had to play his father.
Through his catharsis of writing and rewriting this film, Roberts now believes everything happens for a reason, a theme of his movie.
“If you chose to believe in the themes of this movie, that’s your prerogative,” Roberts said, “and if you don’t, then it’s just a fish story.”