WHAT’S a pandemic got to do with love? Everything, according to a Canadian filmmaker.

At least when it's the thing we really need that's the thing killing us.

In the case of the new film Ashgrove, it’s a deadly disease that’s poisoned the world’s water supply – and one woman’s quest to find the cure leads her to question her own marriage.

Jeremy LaLonde directs while Jonas Chernick and Amanda Brugel star in this intimate drama.

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It premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival on Thursday, and is joined by the exclusive showings of Outlander season six as well as My Old School, which stars Alan Cumming.

Asked how he felt about returning to Glasgow following the success of his previous film James vs His Future Self in 2020, Chernick told The National: “100% excitement and joy”.

“I fell in love with the city when I was there two years ago,” the Ashgrove star explains.

“And I thought the festival was one of the best festivals I've ever been to. We both agreed, Jeremy and I, that the people, the organisation, the programming, the films, the hospitality - it was such a great experience.

The National:

“We left there two years ago and said, if we ever have the opportunity to come back to this city in this festival, we will. So when we finished this film, we circled the Glasgow Film Festival in the calendar and said ‘let's aim for that’.”

Chernick said Glasgow has an “internationally great reputation as one of the world-class film festivals”.

He said Glasgow’s festival was the one the team connected with most.

Those who saw the team’s last film may be in for a surprise, Chernick said, as this was is certainly not a comedy.

He said: “So the last film was a science fiction comedy, a time travel story about a nerdy, obsessed scientist trying to crack the mystery of time travel when I get kind of kidnapped by the future version of me telling me to stop.

“So after we made that film, and we went to Glasgow with it, and we travelled the world with it, Jeremy and I sat down and said, ‘what do we want to make next?’ And we decided we couldn't make another comedy.

The National:

“We've made many comedies, but we really wanted to challenge ourselves. And so on a drive, a three-hour car ride from one Canadian film festival to another in September of 2019 we started pitching ideas and I said, 'let's do a character study'.

“Let's do a chamber piece, two actors a relationship in crisis. And he said that's great. That's very different from what we've done. Let's do that. Let's make it raw and intimate. But he said in his version of that movie, the world would be ending outside the doors of wherever we are contained. And I initially said, no, that's not what I'm going for.

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“I want to do an intimate portrait. He said no, that's what we should do. But let's raise the stakes. And so that led us into thinking about what kind of world this marriage existed in and that's where we came up with the idea of this water crisis.

“And so, this film is a much more pensive investigation of the nature of love and marriage and commitment. We have this water crisis where the paradox is that the water that we need to survive is now slowly killing us.

"And the metaphor there, of course, is about love and, and the potential toxicity of relationships and so we really explored these themes and ended up weaving it into a story where we have a lot of there's a lot of surprises and twists.

“I think the movie that you think you're watching ultimately is not the movie that you were watching. There are surprises and twists along the way. But really, we hope that it's an emotional story.

"There is humour in it but it's a story of these two characters and the way that they try to fix their marriage while also trying to save humanity.”