I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to interview Tristen Marty, who plays Buddy Blackwolf in the film Indian Horse. It's an adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, shedding light on the dark history of Canada’s Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of Indigenous people. We chatted about the importance of the film and how we can all make a difference. Check out our Q&A below:
Why should people watch Indian Horse?
It's an eye opener for non- indigenous people to see what really happened to the people who were in residential school. Sure some people have "heard" about the stories that indigenous children experienced, but to actually see Indian Horse on the big Screen? Is whole other different experience. Yes it is the truth. Yes it did happen, but, we need to keep "keeping On"
What kind of impact do you hope the film will have on the viewers?
I hope to leave a deep presidence that will filter through the individual(s)I hope that Indian Horse will breakdown the stigma towards indigenous People, as alcoholics, drug addicts, gangsters, lazy. I hope that our generation can move forward and forgive our grandparents/Parents that turned to substance to numb the horrific trauma they went through in residential schools as children. Some of our people didn't get a chance to hear what happened to their grandparents, here is their chance. If you haven't seen the movie yet? Please take my wise advice and take some Kleenex with you.
How can we all make a difference?
Understand the stories that come from residential school survivors by developing empathy so that we can leap and strive in our lives in whatever it is we put our minds too, wether it be a career, or sustainability in our languages across Turtle Island, also known as Canada.
Indian Horse is out now in theatres across Canada. For more information about the novel and film, visit the website here.
One week today, will mark the 5th annual "National Canadian Film Day", so I caught up with Hamilton Film Festival's Nathan Fleet to find out how the city intends on celebrating and the importance of supporting the Canadian film industry. Check out our interview below:
How has the Canadian film industry evolved in the last year?
There has been a massive spotlight on indigenous and female filmmakers, and this is definitely a good thing. We are experiencing new voices, new stories and that is really the best way to move cinema forward. Our NCFD selections are feature films written and directed by female filmmakers.
What is the significance of Hamilton’s role in the industry?
Hamilton is still, in some ways, a hidden gem. Toronto’s massive film industry benefits from their proximity to Hamilton, which is primarily used for it’s location resources. With the increase in productions, many of these cast / crew see value in moving to Hamilton. As far as the film festival goes, we are bringing in some incredible guests that would never venture here without HFF attached to it. We have also increased opportunities to pitch and sell movies, something you used to have to go to Toronto to do. We’ve spent over a decade trying to prove ourselves and, finally, heads are turning our way. Because of this, our Lights Camera Hamilton initiative has increased business and awareness of the local film industry. I also still field many calls when someone wants to film here or set up shop. I also got invited to a private dinner a while back with Guillermo Del Toro, but that’s another story.
Why should we celebrate Canadian Film Day and support local filmmakers?
We need to show people that Canadian cinema is truly amazing. These aren’t the “that looks so Canadian” content that we had experienced 20 years ago.
Cast, Crew, technology and most important…the stories, are top notch. We (Canadian’s) have our own stories and identity and it's right there, every year, on our screens! We are super proud to put a spotlight on that. To date, we’ve screened over 600 Canadian films and I promise, that number will grow!
For more on National Canadian Film Day, click here.
It's a new week so there's a new batch of interviews coming your way!
Last week, you may recall there being a feature on actor Jadiel Dowlin of Nickelodeon's new show "Star Falls", well this week I chatted with his co-star, Elena V. Wolfe. She's known for Star Falls and Defiance and she's also working on her debut novel, COZ and the Invisible City. Check out our Q&A below:
What are some of the perks of being a TV mom?
I get to play with the kids and not have to worry about all the serious stuff! Kidding. But the perks definitely include learning about what kids are into these days (spinners and slime, most recently) and more importantly, spending time with a group of people that are always happy and positive— and full of energy!
How is this project different than ones that you’ve previously worked on?
I get to play a veterinarian which means lots of animal screen time. It’s the most challenging scene work! There is a lot of patience and concentration involved when working with animals. I’m learning a lot from this show more than any other thus far.
Why should people watch Star Falls?
It’s definitely more of a kids show, but the cool thing about Star Falls is that adults get the humour too— and get a few good laughs along the way. Our creator George Doty worked on Seinfeld several years so you bet the humour is fantastic! Also, you should watch it because the kids are AWESOME! Very talented and fresh new faces— most definitely actors to look out for in the future.
Okay, one more interview before a weekend filled with naps and rewatching Friends for the fifteen billionth time!
Actor Jadiel Dowlin is currently starring in the new Nickelodeon television series Star Falls which premiered last Saturday (March 31st) and airs every Saturday. It centres on Sophia Miller a strong-willed teen who persuades a Hollywood movie star, Craig Daniels, and his family to live in her house while he shoots a movie in town, all with the hopes of setting him up with her mom. Jadiel plays the role of Craig's son Phoenix Brooks, a deep and thoughtful kid who grew up with his father's stardom.
I chatted with Jadiel about the show and his experience at the Kids' Choice Awards. Check out our Q&A below:
1) You were recently at the Kids’ Choice Awards - what was that experience like?
I've been to several similar types of entertainment events for children/youth and adults, and it's unlike any carpet or artist related event I've attended! KCA’s focus is on the kids and to engage with them. I was surprised how many adults were also at the awards show, and they were really having lots of fun! It was as if they were kids all over again! The orange carpet felt like it took only a few minutes to walk, so I was very surprised that it took us over 1½ hours to complete due to the number of interviews and photos.
2) Can you tease your role on Star Falls?
Phoenix Brooks is the older son/brother on Star Falls. He grew up with his father’s stardom and is a unique teen because he’s a strong-willed teen and a true philosopher that’s insightful and way ahead of his age. He’s into yoga, meditation, and being at one with the universe…he’s definitely an interesting character!
3) How is Star Falls different from other Nickelodeon series?
It’s nice to have the adults engage directly with the children, while not being portrayed as clowns or immature guardians. The show also brings people from widely different classes together so they have the opportunity to learn from another, and more importantly, to become friends… and who knows… maybe some characters will fall in love! It is called… Star Falls for a reason (don’t worry, this is not a spoiler). After all, Phoenix’s dad is a movie “Star” and starts to “Fall” for Beth (a local veterinarian) after getting to know her better.
Another day, another interview.
Actress Vanessa Jackson is full of wisdom and a rising star - she recently booked a part in the latest X-Men film that was shot in Montreal. I was lucky enough to be able to chat with her about her journey and goal-setting system. Check out our Q&A below:
How do you feel about your acting journey thus far?
I’m very excited about my journey into acting. I’ve been very fortunate to have so many inspiring and supportive individuals around me - family, friends, fellow actors, pushing me to continue pursuing my dreams. What I’ve realized is that the more you act, the more you want to act. I look forward to learning more about acting and refining my craft - it is a lifelong passion, and I’m grateful to be in a position where I can actively pursue it every day.
Do you have a system that you use to set your goals?
I think about what I want to achieve and consider what kind of immediate steps I can take to get there. I like to set short term goals that I’m able to achieve today so I stay focused and motivated, but I challenge myself by continuing to push them further outside of my comfort zone. It’s easy to feel discouraged in an industry that is full of no’s but I find this method helps me stay excited about the path I’m on.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s a waste of time.
For more on Vanessa, check out her IMDb page here.