Just before Canada Day the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival had the opportunity to join Izabel Barsive and local Ottawa film maker and musician Lesley Marshallto talk about life as a filmmaker. Principally the life of a female filmmaker. The discussion was full of insights on the challenges of breaking through on an industry that is dominated by men, both in production and, well, all aspects of the industry. As a filmmaker, Marshall has been in the industry long enough to have lived experienced with the limitations that face female filmmakers. But this has not stopped her.
Her life in the arts started young, and her perseverance to see projects and ideas come off the ground is sure encouragement for any filmmaker. Female filmmaker’s can glean that Marshall is a role model for those who can be left on the fringes of the film, and music industry as well. Having predominantly been involved in music video production, and being in a band herself, she can appreciate the art of a music video and what other story it can tell. She teamed up with Canadian band Partner and took that opportunity to create a video that captured the fun of the song “Play the Field”.
Cape Breton Island has been showcased as a top tourist destination in Canada for many years. A great deal of chatter has been for its incredibly stunning landscapes and charm. Too add, the vibrant Scottish culture is embedded in the fabric of many communities in Cape Breton. The strong Mi’kmaq and Acadian communities further add to this vibrant Island.
With a deep history as a nautical paradise, the Island also has a long history as an industrial hub in North America. It would be amiss not to recognize the emerging potential from this Island, and it is clear there is some growth in the area of film production on the Island. Just this past weekend, a film showcase was held at Cape Breton University, organized by the newly formed Film Cape Breton. Follow the linkto recent media on the Film Collectives efforts to highlight filmmakers from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. You can find more on Film Cape Breton on their Facebook Group.
It was a rainy, cold afternoon in Ottawa, not to be unexpected in mid April. The MayfairTheatre in Ottawa was having a Premiere screening of 8 Minutes Ahead, so as part of Ocan Film Festival, I ventured out to see what the film had to offer. This film brought geographical landscapes together beautifully, with rich cinematography. It also had the edge a suspense film needed. Good plot, and visually appealing imagery. A very urban experience as it was filmed in three major cities, Ottawa, Vancouver and Hong Kong.
Canadian film needs the encouragement Ben Hoskyn’s brings to the table with this feature. What is also a message from Hoskyn’s, is that no matter the time it takes to make a film, make it.
During the Q & A session many of the challenges, benefits and rewards of producing a work readily came through in the filmmaker’s own words. Dedication was a key element of bringing this film to the screen.
If you are living in a city that offer’s a rich film culture, it can only be recommended you treat yourself to one of the Film Festival experiences offered in Canada. Whether you are vacationing in a City or live in it, you can be sure there will be something to see.
Ashley Mackenzie undoubtedly added to Canadian film culture with her feature film Werewolf. As a fellow Cape Bretoner, seeing a film of this caliber made about life on the Island made me very excited for the future of film in Cape Breton. The authenticity of this film was moving, having seen Cape Breton struggle with many issues, particularly with opioid addiction. The main characters of this film show us the true depth of this way of living in a very candid way. Centering on addiction, love and reality the film pulls you in all of those directions. This wonderfully shot and edited film is of worth note for its authenticity.
A young Canadian filmmaker, Ashley Mackenzie is sure to build from here and you can see why in this short roll up of her Q & A after her screening at The Ottawa Arts Court in April 2018 on National Canadian Film Day hosted by The Canadian Film Institute.
This film should be celebrated for many reasons as the cinematography, emotion and raw aspects of lives mundane suffering, longing to break free platitudes are all encapsulated in this work.
See a few highlights of her post screening Q & A here.