real love isn't a movie

Best Narrative Features Jury Award

2023 Austin Film Festival - Nominee

Now streaming on Paramount+ (Canada)

Coming soon to HBO (Europe)

"A perfect movie for movie lovers"

-POV Magazine

Directed by:  Vanessa Matsui

Written & Produced by: Bill Robertson

Starring: Liane Balaban, Allan Hawco, and
Kenneth Welsh (Twin Peaks) in his final film

Over the course of one evening, three couples are pulled into a collision course of sexual chemistry, delusion and hope as they explore what love, death and the magic of the movies mean to them.


When they were teenagers, Iris (Liane Balaban) and Alex (Allan Hawco) went to see the sexy 1960 French classic 'Breathless' and fell in love.

But life had other plans.

Twenty years later, Iris is married to workaholic doctor Geoff (Ryan Allen), stressed out by motherhood and caring for her dying, self-centered film critic father, Max (Kenneth Welsh). Tonight she has scheduled a screening of 'Breathless' at the rundown Paradise Theater in Max's honor, and on a whim invites Alex.

But when Alex shows up with his fiancee Anthea (Emma Ferreira) in tow, Iris' world is turned upside down and the two ex-lovers spend the evening contemplating the past and plotting a future together.

RUNNING TIME: 94 Minutes GENRE: Romantic Drama LANGUAGE: English COUNTRY: Canada

Meet the Midnight Team



is a Toronto-based director-creator of Japanese descent. Midnight At The Paradise is her directorial debut feature. She was selected as a Sundance New Voices fellow in 2019 for her hit web series Ghost BFF, which she created, wrote, directed for and starred in, and which won multiple awards including Best Web Series at the LA International Femme Film Festival, has been nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards over two seasons, has screened at festivals globally including The Austin Film Festival where it was also nominated for Best Web Series, and can now be found on Shaftesbury's KindaTV. Vanessa is currently the series director on the drama How To Fail As A Pop Star for CBC Gem.


Writer Producer

An award-winning writer/producer/director (The Events Leading Up to My Death, Apartment Hunting) based in Toronto. His first feature, The Events Leading Up to My Death, won Best Canadian Screenplay at VIFF.  Bill has also worked in television as a creative producer/writer/director.  In 2014, he won a Canadian Screen Award for producing the History Channel's hit Museum Secrets. In 2020, he was selected to participate in a Sundance Producer's Workshop with Midnight At The Paradise.  He also produced the breakout Toronto indie band, The Neighbourhood Watch, whose music and performance are featured in Midnight At The Paradise.



is a brilliant cinematographer who was nominated for an Emmy award for his work on The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. Other key credits include the award-winning features Goalie and Ken Finkelman’s An American Dream: The Education of William Bowman. He just completed Season 2 of Son of a Critch starring Malcolm McDowell for CBC-TV.


Executive Producer

Has been producing feature films via Alcina Pictures for over 20 years. Nominated for the 2022 CMPA Established Producer Award, Paul has championed many award-winning and first-time filmmakers. Selected credits include Cherien Dabis’ Sundance and Cannes entry, Amreeka, nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards including Best Picture; Bruce McDonald’s 2007 Berlinale Panorama opener, The Tracey Fragments, starring Elliot Page; the ice-age apocalypse, The Colony, starring Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton;  Jasmin Mozaffari's powerful, award-winning debut, Firecrackers, and Danis Goulet's multi-award winner, Night Raiders. Upcoming for Barkin is the psychological-thriller Sharp Corner from award-winning director Jason Buxton (Blackbird).

Meet the Midnight Cast



Made a major splash with her debut in the lead role of Alan Moyle's New Waterford Girl. She received a Special Jury Citation at TIFF for her performance. Variety described her performance opposite Kevin Pollak in Gary Yates’ acclaimed Seven Times Lucky as "unforgettable." Recent  films include Lullaby, directed by John Leonetti for Alcon, Small Fortune by Adam Perry, Woman In Car by Vanya Rose-Kuhrt, and Mina Shum's Meditation Park. She also starred in the romantic comedies The Grand Seduction with Taylor Kitsch and Finding Joy opposite Josh Cooke, as well as Joel Hopkins’ Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman, Coach with Hugh Dancy, Michael McGowan’s One Week opposite Joshua Jackson.



An acclaimed actor, writer, and executive producer and one of Canada's most recognizable stars. He currently appears on the CBC and Netflix show Moonshine. Allan is the creator of the hit CBC television series Republic of Doyle (2010-2014). Allan played the lead, Jake Doyle, the roguish and irreverent private investigator, and served as the show's showrunner for its six-season run. The show is now a success on streaming networks such as Amazon Prime and Netflix Worldwide. Allan's television and streaming credits include: Another Life (Netflix), Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime), Frontier Season 1-3 (Netflix), The Book of Negroes (BET/CBC). Allan’s feature film credits include principal roles in Director Bruce McDonald’s award-winning film Weirdos (2017), Love & Savagery (2009), directed by John Smith, and Sir Richard Attenborough's Closing the Ring (2007) with Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine



Kenneth had a long and fascinating career that started in Edmonton and led him to stages and studios across Canada, NYC, and worldwide. He starred in twenty plays on and off Broadway and seven seasons at The Stratford Festival. Two of his favourites were premieres of The Real Thing directed by Mike Nichols and Frankie and Johnny In The Claire de Lune opposite Kathy Bates. Kenneth may be best known for his memorable turn in Twin Peaks. Other film credits include The Aviator, The Day After Tomorrow and Heartburn. He was featured in the AMC series Lodge 49 and most recently guest-starred in episodes of Charmed and Star Trek Discovery. Kenneth won a total of five Canadian Screen awards and one ACTRA Award and was a recipient of the Order of Canada.  Kenneth passed away on May 5, 2022. Midnight At The Paradise is his final film. RYAN ALLEN (GEOFF)



No stranger to stage, screen, or recording booth. With early origins in opera performance, Ryan quickly transitioned his stage career to the theatre, and there's been no stopping him since. Theatrically, Ryan's most notable credits include multiple productions of The Color Purple and a leading role in the Broadway production of The Book Of Mormon. On-screen, Ryan's work has spanned a variety of networks and streamers with highlights including a series lead role on Between(Netflix), SEE (Apple TV+), Five Days at Memorial (Apple TV+); recurring guest star roles on Rogue (DirecTv), Taken (NBC), 21 Thunder (CBC), and most recently the role of fan-favourite Jack Drake on the latest season of Titans (HBO Max).



Currently starring in two Netflix shows, including the new Rob Lowe vehicle Unstable. She was named a 2021 TIFF Rising Star for her feature debut and lead role in the feature film Learn To Swim, which was recently picked up by Ava Duvernay and Netflix. She trained at York University's Acting Conservatory. She was cast as Juliet in Measure for Measure and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing in Canadian Stage's Shakespeare in the Park.  



Kate's screen credits now number well over 60 and include her Gemini Award-winning guest-starring performances on Global Television’s dramatic series Blue Murder and a Gemini-nominated performance on Traders. Her guest turns also include roles on Murdoch Mysteries, Monk, and CBC’s immensely popular Heartland to name just a few. include the dramatic thriller Plain Truth opposite Law and Order’s Mariska Hargitay; the mini-series The Lives Of The Saints, where she played opposite Sophia Loren, Jasper Texas as Jon Voight’s wife; Fallen Angel playing opposite GarySinise. Big screen credits include Beyond Borders where she shared the screen with Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen; Compulsion; an award-winning performance in Tru Love; and Upside Down with Kristen Dunst and Jim Sturgess.

Meet the The Midnight Sound


In loving memory of Kenneth Welsh

1942 - 2022

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Special Thanks

The York-Durham Heritage Railway, The Ace Diner, The Drake Hotel, The Regent Theatre, The Monarch Tavern and The Paradise Theatre, Toronto.
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