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.
In 1907 Dr. Peter H. Bryce, the Chief Medical Health officer for the Department of Indian Affairs wrote a report documenting the inhuman and unsanitary conditions in Canada’s residential schools. Bryson’s report was discredited by the department’s chief bureaucrat Duncan Campbell Scott and he was subsequently relieved of his duties at Indian Affairs.
Decades later, Andy Bryce, great-grandson of Peter Bryce opens a box of family memorabilia that inspires a journey into tracing Peter Bryce’s story from his childhood in rural Ontario to his mysterious death on a cruise ship in the West Indies.
Directed by Peter Campbell and produced by Andy Bryce and Peter Campbell, Finding Peter Bryce: The Story of a National Crime screens at at the historic Mayfair Theatre tonight, May 10th at 6pm. Admission is free, first come, first served. (Presented by Peter Bryce, the Bryce Family and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society)
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.
“A poetic study of familial relationships straining and strengthening under the pressure of serious illness.” – Nikki Baughan, Screen International
A mother struggles to take control of her life in the face of advanced Parkinson’s disease, while her son battles his sexual and emotional identity amongst the violence of Alberta’s oil field work camps in director Kathleen Hepburn‘s feature film Never Steady, Never Still.
Shot in Ford St. James, British Columbia, the film was nominated for 8 Canadian Screen Awards. Catch the film at the Bytown Cinema in Ottawa this weekend.
“When their dying father makes a sudden change to his will, two half-brothers from different worlds – one a Hong Kong labourer, the other a Vancouver businessman – must decide what they value most – money or family.” That’s the synopsis of Ottawa filmmaker Ben Hoskyn‘s first feature film 8 Minutes Ahead.
Directed by Hoskyn, the film stars Raugi Yu(DaVinci’s Inquest), Chang Tseng(Romeo Must Die), Brian Burrel, Theresa Wong(Supernatural), Benedict Wong and Jane Wong.
8 Minutes Ahead was produced by Nate Estabrooks & Ben Hoskyn based on a script by Allan Mackey, Nate Estabrooks & Nick Dolinski.