Dakota Ray Hebert, right, won a Best Actress awardat a festival for her work as Beck alongside Asivak Koostachin as Tom Longboat, in Run Woman Run. (Shawn Goldberg photo)

Dakota Ray Hebert, right, won a Best Actress awardat a festival for her work as Beck alongside Asivak Koostachin as Tom Longboat, in Run Woman Run. (Shawn Goldberg photo)

Award-winning Indigenous comedy will screen May 19 at Paradise Cinemas in Williams Lake

Film Club set to screen Run Woman Run by Bella-Bella born Zoe Hopkins

The tagline for Run Woman Run which will be showing in Williams Lake May 19 is: “The ghosts from your past will catch up to you. So will the donuts.”

The anti-rom-com, stars Dakota Ray Hebert, as Beck, an Indigenous single mom whose depression and eating habits land her in a diabetic coma.

Hebert, better known to some for her stand-up comedy, stars alongside actor Asivak Koostachin. Koostachin is known in the Cariboo Chilcotin because he also starred in Portraits from a Fire directed by Trevor Mack, which was shot in the Tl’etinqox-t’in territory around the community of Anaham.

“Finding Beck was hard. I had something specific I was looking for. I was looking for somebody who was naturally really funny as a person in their life and somebody who could dig deep and get the emotional bits. I was really thankful that we finally found Dakota because she is hilarious,” explained Zoe Hopkins, the award-winning Indigenous filmmaker of casting her latest feature-length film.

The choice of Dakota Ray Hebert to play Beck must have worked, because the actor took home the Best Actress award at the American Indian Film Festival (AIFF) in 2021 and Best Performance Award at the 2022 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival for her work. The film also won Best Film at the AIFF, as well as the Audience Choice Award at Toronto’s ImagineNative festival.

While depression and diabetes may not bring to mind laughter and comedy, it seems fairly clear from both the film’s synopsis and the reviews the film has been collecting, this will be a fun journey through film along with Beck.

The synopsis begins: “Single mother Beck has been running from reality. Her ‘breakfast of champions’ is a five cream, five sugar coffee, and donuts. Something has to give and it does when Beck finds herself in a diabetic coma and visited by a ghostly ancestor, the legendary Indigenous marathon runner Tom Longboat, who becomes her wise-cracking new life coach.”

The film also touches on language preservation and grief, but reportedly manages to provide light, laughter and hope.

“Producer Laura Milliken and I were both dying to see an Indigenous woman who struggles sometimes in a funny way with serious things. So when we started developing the film we agreed we wanted a relatable, imperfect hero who comes from a walk of life like ours to inspire people to dig deep. I tend to work in this general tone where the serious meets the haha, and I’m so happy we’re bringing a feel-good film to the screen in the ‘pandy’ times,” Hopkins wrote in her director’s vision statement for the film.

“The film club is so excited to return this season for a single screening of Run Woman Run. It’s a great opportunity to showcase new and upcoming Canadian talent, and we feel an inspiring, heartfelt, and funny film is the perfect way to return after a two-year Covid hiatus,” said Caroline Derksen with the film club. She said the club expects regular screenings to resume in September.

Tickets for the PG-rated film are $10 and will be for sale in advance at The Open Book in Williams Lake and remaining tickets will be available at the box office of the Paradise Cinema starting at 6:30 p.m. for the film, which starts at 7 p.m. on May 19.

Read more: Mack wraps up shooting Portraits From A Fire

Read more: That’s a wrap: Williams Lake Film Club finishes another season



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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Arts and cultureBella BellafilmFirst NationsWilliams Lake