Helen Haig-Brown at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October where her film Edge of the Knife won three awards. (VIFF/Carlos Bonmati Photo)

Helen Haig-Brown at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October where her film Edge of the Knife won three awards. (VIFF/Carlos Bonmati Photo)

Edge of the Knife wins big at TIFF and VIFF

Tsilhqot’in filmmaker makes waves with her film Edge of the Knife winning five film festival awards.

Tsilhqot’in filmmaker continues to make waves with her new film Edge of the Knife winning several film festival awards.

Indigenous Helen Haig-Brown has always had a passion for telling untold stories, specifically those of the First Nation peoples of Canada. After more than a decade of filmmaking, she’s no stranger to the industry and the film festival circuit.

Her latest project, Edge of the Knife, has been receiving national attention for its storytelling and unique community-minded approach to filmmaking. The film is the first to be shot entirely in dialects of the Haida language, of which only 20 fluent speakers remain, many of whom were involved in the making of the film.

Haig-Brown said that all the interest this film has generated has made her excited and shown that there is a market for Indigenous films told in Indigenous languages.

Read More: Local film receiving national attention comes to William Lake Film Club

“It just feels awesome that there is a wider and broader interest in the film and that it shows the cinematic world in Canada is shifting right now, so that’s exciting,” Haig-Brown remarked.

Set on Haida Gwaii, renamed the Queen Charlotte Islands in colonial times, in the mid-1800s century it tells the tale of two families meeting for their annual fishing retreat. A young careless man named Adiits’ii accidentally causes a tragedy during their gathering and grief-stricken, flees into the woods.

Left behind and haunted by his guilt he goes mad and becomes Gaagiixid, Wildman, a supernatural being crazed by hunger. When the families return the next year they seek to reconnect with the man within the monster and bring humanity back to Adiits’il.

Making its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before coming to the Vancouver International Film Festival, the film has generated a ton of positive buzz. So much so its two initial showings at VIFF sold out, much to the delight of Haig-Brown, with a third show being added in a theatre that seats over a 1,800 people which also sold out.

The film brought home three awards at the VIFF including Best Canadian Film, Best BC Film and Most Popular Canadian Film. In Toronto, it also brought home the Sun Jury Award at the ImagineNATIVE Film Festival and the TIFF Top Ten Award of 2018.

“What feels amazing, to me, is not only the awards but the number of people who have been requesting and wanting to come to see the film,” Haig-Brown said. “It just finished 10 days of theatrical release in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre and now they’ve just added another day in the new year.”

Its film festival tour days are not over according to Haig-Brown as she said there are “quite a lot” of festivals that have requested to air it, worldwide including the United Kingdom, Washington D.C and a wide range of others “all over”.

Its American and International release has yet to be determined but, as noted in our previous article, its premiere in Williams Lake has. This Friday at 7 p.m. in the Gibraltar Room the Williams Lake Film Club will be hosting a showing of this award-winning film.

Read More: New film club organizer excited to bring TIF to lakecity

“To any of the people in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and particularly the Tshilqot’in Nation please come check out the movie. We’re going to be doing a similar process in (my upcoming) Chilcotin War film, where we’re going to be able to do a homegrown community driven project coming up soon,” Haig-Brown said, encouraging any interested in taking part in a project similar to Edge of the Knife to contact her.

She will be returning to the Chilcotin next year to begin research on her next project.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Wildman, played by Tyler York, known to the Haida Nation as Gaagiixid in Helen Haig-Brown’s Edge of the Knife. (Photo submitted)

The Wildman, played by Tyler York, known to the Haida Nation as Gaagiixid in Helen Haig-Brown’s Edge of the Knife. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

The Cariboo Regional District has launched a broadband survey for residents, businesses and organizations. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
CRD launches internet, cellular services survey

Residents, businesses and organizations invited to give input

Actors and directors of The Studio Theatre’s upcoming radio play version of A Christmas Carol rehearse over zoom. (Tara Sprickerhoff photo)
Bexie Blake of Miocene celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday, Nov. 27. (Photo submitted)
Miocene woman celebrates 100th birthday at home within her bubble

Elizabeth ‘Bexie’ Blake said she looks forward the time when she can receive hugs in person

Staff at the Boys and Girls Club of WIlliams Lake and District organize a donation from Lake City Secondary School for the youth food bank. (Photo submitted)
Christmas cheer on the menu at Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District

A number of things are in the works, including a winter wonderland

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read