Posted on Jul 11, 2017
Creators: Ashley McKenzie (Director) and Nelson MacDonald (Producer)
Nominator: Cory Bowles
The fiction feature film Werewolf is about two young methadone addicts in Cape Breton. They push a lawnmower door to door, begging to cut grass for a living. One struggles to escape while the other falls further into ruin. The film is notable for its non-professional cast and stylized visual presentation. Directed by McKenzie and produced by MacDonald as their first-time feature, the film has already won several awards at Canadian film festivals. The Nova Scotian director and producer have previously made several short films together.
Werewolf premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), won three awards at the Atlantic Film Festival, and won the Focus Canada Prize at Festival du nouveau cinema in Montreal. On December 7, 2016, Werewolf was named to TIFF’s annual Canada’s Top 10 list.
“Viewers may find themselves grudgingly admiring the affectless naturalism of the lead performances, and the borderline Bressonian austerity of McKenzie’s storytelling” – Variety
“Werewolf is perhaps most illuminating for its depiction of a seldom-seen side of Canadian life” – Hollywood Reporter
“McKenzie deserves credit for revealing such a troubling facet of her homeland […] she bravely never turns away.” – Hollywood Reporter
Watch the trailer here.