Café Qui Pense the Definition of a Film Set

Shortly after two men entered his store one day last September, Gabriel Houle knew something was up.

Unlike the other people in Café Qui Pense on Main Street, the men didn’t order something to eat or drink. Instead, they looked the place up and down, examining the walls and the layout.

“You might be wondering what we’re doing,” Houle said recently, recalling their words.

Then they told him. The pair was scouting the café as a possible backdrop for a scene in an upcoming Hollywood thriller called Definition of Fear.

Starring 29-year-old Sri Lankan actress Jacqueline Fernandez, the movie tells the story of four girls who spend a weekend in a cabin overlooking a lake. They soon discover they are not alone.

“It sounded interesting and fun,” said Houle. “It’s something different. It’s a little bit out of the ordinary.”

Two months later, on Nov. 10, Café Qui Pense was “completely full,” its owner said.

People were coming in and out continuously between 6 a.m. and lunchtime. The café’s blank walls, an aspect of the place the scouts had liked in September, had been covered with posters.

Even the sidewalk outside the café was filled with film equipment and production personnel.

“The filming went great and we were very happy,” said Robert Menzies, producer and owner of Ottawa’s Zed Film Works, the company that managed the shoot.

“The scene looks great. Ottawa has so many amazing locations that have never been on film before,” Menzies added.

When asked about the shoot and how they came to choose the café as their location, Menzies said that decision rested with the film’s director, James Sampson.

“The director ultimately chooses the location based on the script and their vision for the movie,” Menzies said. “He loved that café and they were very open to us filming there. ”

Menzies suggested the city could provide the backdrop for more film shoots.

“[The] Ottawa film industry continues to grow each year,” he said. “It’s great for our local economy as it employs people in Ottawa and a lot of money gets spent locally in a very short time.”

Definition of Fear is expected to be released in about a year, Menzies said.

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