When we made REZilience, we expected the film to make it to two or three film festivals. Never in our imagination did we think we would hit double digits!
Our TENTH film festival will be an important one as it is being held in the city of our star Remington Louie and hometown of the director's mother (and film co-producer) Doris Stewart: WINNIPEG, MANITOBA.
The beautiful thing is that we didn't even submit it to the 15th WINNIPEG ABORIGINAL FILM FESTIVAL! After our national coverage on CBC Radio yesterday, the WAFF started receiving requests to play our film!. They love us. They really, really love us!
If you are in the Winnipeg area on Saturday, November 26th you can watch REZilience on the big screen at 7:00pm at Towne Cinema 8.
Thank you Coleen Rajotte of the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival for reaching out to us!
Northern Ontario filmmaker hopes to turn 10 minute flick into full-length feature film
By Marina von Stackelberg, CBC News
Posted: Oct 31, 2016 4:57 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 31, 2016 7:30 PM ET
A film about a zombie apocalypse on a fly-in First Nation reserve is garnering international attention.
The short film "REZilience" is currently playing at festival in four different countries and will be screening in Hollywood this November at the LA Skins Fest and the American Indian Institute Film Festival.
"We're touching on a whole slew of issues affecting First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people across this country through the lens of the zombie genre," said Jayson Stewart, a high school teacher from Espanola, Ont. who wrote and directed the film.
"Four characters have to work together and use their sense of identity to survive," he said, adding the film touches on everything from residential schools to the sixties' scoop.
Zombies and Indigenous culture
There are many similarities that can be drawn between zombie flicks and current issues facing Indigenous communities, Stewart said.
"Zombies are symbolic of how society is just moving along and steam-rolling over Indigenous culture. It takes a select few to stand up and say. 'no more'."
While Stewart isn't Indigenous, he says many of his family members are Cree, and a majority of the students he teaches at Espanola High School in northern Ontario are Anishnabek.
The majority of the zombies in the film are members of nearby Sagamok First Nation, where most of the footage was shot this summer.
"It's important to have partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, especially when you can use art to pass along those messages," he said.
Stewart said if he can get the financial backing, he hopes to film a full-length feature next summer.