The debut narrative feature from the seasoned documentary and TV series director Tracey Deer premieres at TIFF 2020 today as part of the TIFF Next Wave Discovery section. Deer’s fierce and fiery feature is a timely testament to the universal spirit of overcoming systemic racism and injustice

BEANS, inspired by true events, a Mohawk girl on the cusp of adolescence must grow up fast and become her own kind of warrior during an armed stand-off known as the 1990 Oka Crisis. Torn between innocent childhood and reckless adolescence; she struggles to build her own identity amidst the chaos of the uprising and the injustice of a world that sees her as “different” even in her own land.

“Even though BEANS takes place in Canada in the early ‘90s, its universal message can still be heard loud and clear across the world today. I made the film to inspire, to open hearts and minds, and to give a voice to people that feel unheard” shares the director.

The film is produced by EMA’s Anne-Marie Gélinas and Mongrel Media will release the film in Canada.  “I feel fortunate to be part of this journey and witness first-hand the courage and resilience Tracey had to bring this story to the big screen; and I am grateful that TIFF chose the film” says Gélinas.

Sales outfit WaZabi Films has picked up the world rights excluding Canada.  “Beans is a very timely film.  We are excited to share Tracey’s voice with the world.  The spirit of the film aligns with the diverse voices we are hearing standing up for what is right”  state WaZabi co-presidents Anick Poirier and Lorne Price.

The film is written by Tracey Deer and Meredith Vuchnich, with cinematography by Marie Davignon, editing by Sophie Farkas Bolla, music by Mario Sévigny and Sound by Sylvain Bellemare.

Following TIFF, the film will be screened at Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

Director Phil Sheerin’s feature, The Winter Lake, a film noir, premieres today at Galway Film Fleadh.

After making a grim discovery in a seasonal lake, Tom (Anson Boon) a withdrawn teenager discovers the truth about his neighbours, a father and daughter harbouring sinister secrets.

« It’s a dark family drama with sinister undertones. The tone of the film is quite oppressive but it’s also a beautifully looking film. All of the cast are incredibly empathetic. Anyone that has watched it feels for everyone.  No matter how extreme the story got, that people believed it. » says Phil Sheerin.

After Galway Film Fleadh, The Winter Lake will be shown at Cinéfest Sudbury.

Theatrical release in Québec on August 26th

Filmoption International and EMAfilms are pleased to announce that the film SLAXX will be a part of the renowned Fantasia Film festival and will be released in theaters on August 26th across Quebec and Canada. Directed by Elza Kephart, the film stars Romane Denis (Charlotte a du fun), Brett Donahue (Come Back), Sehar Bhojani (Coroner series), Stephen Bogaert (X Men Apocalypse) and Kenny Wong (Transplant).

SLAXX tells the story of a possessed pair of jeans brought to life to punish the unscrupulous practices of a trendy clothing company. Shipped to the company’s flagship store, SLAXX proceeds to wreak havoc on the staff, locked in overnight to set up the new collection. When the body count increases, the panicked staff disbands and begins their struggle for survival. It is up to idealistic and principled employee Libby to uncover the reason behind SLAXX’s blood thirst before its evil is released into the world.

Elza Kephart writes and directs horror and fantasy films. A graduate of Emerson College (Boston) and the Canadian Film Center’s Director’s Lab, Elza’s first feature film, Graveyard Alive, played in more than 20 international film festivals including Fantasia, Fantasporto and Sitges, winning the Kodak Cinematography Award at the Slamdance Film Festival. Her second feature, Go in the Wilderness, premiered at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema and has played in various international film festivals. She has attended the Telluride Student Symposium, The TIFF Talent Lab, and the Berlinale Talent Campus.

SLAXX is Elza’s third feature film and is first and foremost about murderous pants! This totally insane idea inspired by 70s and 80s horror flicks (The Stuff, The Thing, and Alien) is created by Patricia Gomez Zlatar and Elza Kephart. It serves as social commentary on the fast fashion industry criticizing and outlining the fatal effects of unbridled capitalism and amoral globalization using humour and over-the-top gore.

SLAXX is produced for EMAfilms by Anne-Marie Gélinas and Patricia Gomez Zlatar for EMAfilms. The screenplay was written by Elza Kephart and Patricia Gomez Zlatar. The director of photography is Steve Asselin and the artistic director is Geneviève Huot. The costume designer is Éric Poirier, the makeup artist if Joan-Patricia Parris and the hairstylist is Marie-Josée Beaudet. Bruno Gatien signs the special makeup effects, Blood Brothers, the special effects and Simon Beaupré, the visual effects. Mirenda Ouellet is the film’s editor and Delphine Measroch composed the original music.

SLAXX was presented in 2017 at the Frontières co-production market. The film received funding from SODEC, Telefilm Canada, federal and provincial tax credit programs, and Squad Entertainment, as well as funding from the Harold Greenberg Fund in development. The film is represented by WTFilms on the international market.

Brigitte Poupart and her daughter Fabiola are shooting À travers tes yeux, a  documentary about Fabiola’s origin story and what would her life be like had she stayed in Haiti.

Photo : Maxence Bradley

You can now watch two documentaries by Hélène Choquette on Vimeo on demand.

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