Welcome to the VIFF Spectacular!
The Vancouver International Film Festival has started up and I moseyed on down to chat with some of the top talent. The first in a series of episodes features the director, producer, and star of the sci-fi horror film The Unseen – Geoff Redknap, Katie Weekley and Julia Sarah Stone. I also speak with the godfather of Canadian independent film Bruce McDonald about his new film Weirdos (coincidentally also starring Julia). Finally, Persian-flamenco musician Farnaz Ohadi talks about her debut album.
The Unseen is the debut feature from writer-director Geoff Redknap, who got his start in the business as a special effects make-up artist. His credits in that role include TV series such as Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, Fear The Walking Dead and The X-Files. His film artistry includes Seventh Son, Cabin in the Woods, Jennifer’s Body, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Final Destination, and Deadpool. Katie Weekley is the producer of The Unseen. She has previously worked as a camera assistant on a variety of projects including: Supernatural, Partition, Jake 2.0, Chasing Christmas and Dark Angel. Julia Sarah Stone appears in The Unseen in the role of Eva. She got her big break at the age of 13 in the hit indie film The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom. In 2014, she was a rising star at the Toronto International Film Festival for her role in Wet Bum. She has a recurring role on the hit AMC series The Killing, and is also currently starring in another VIFF hit Weirdos. Later this year, she will be seen in The Space Between, the directorial debut of former Power Rangers actress Amy Jo Johnson.
Farnaz Ohadi immigrated to Canada from Iran in 1990. Having long-been surrounded by traditional Persian music, she found another joy in the Flamenco sounds of Spain and decided to combine the two. Since 2010, she has been the leader of the ensemble Mashregh, and recently recorded her debut solo album Bird Dance.
There are few Canadian film directors with as much star power as Bruce McDonald. He had arguably his biggest hit in 1996 with Hardcore Logo and since then has worked with a veritable whose who of Canadian cinema in indie films like The Tracey Fragments with Ellen Page, Pontypool with Stephen McHattie and Trigger featuring Don McKellar. He has also directed several TV Shows including Bomb Girls, Reign, Heartland, Less Than Kind, Cracked and Canada’s national institution – DeGrassi. His new film is Weirdos, written by frequent collaborator Daniel McIvor and starring Dylan Authors, Julia Sarah Stone, Allan Hawco, Cathy Jones and Molly Parker.
From Farnaz Ohadi’s Bird Dance