The Williams Lake Film Club is back and thrilled to be screening Run Woman Run on Thursday May 19 at the Paradise Cinemas at 7 p.m.
This engaging and heartwarming film was awarded the Best Picture award at the 2021 American Indian Film Festival and the Audience Choice Feature Film award at the 2021 IMAGINENATIVE FILM + MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL AWARDS. Written and directed by B.C.’s own Zoe Hopkins, it features a stellar all Canadian, all Indigenous cast.
The film’s central protagonist is Beck (played by Dakota Ray Hebert), a single mother living on the Six Nations reserve, in Ontario.
After the loss of her mother, Beck finds her life at a crisis point – emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
She is at odds with her sister and teenage son, unable to shake her bad habits, and her family is frustrated at her inability to move forward.
After a major health scare, Beck begins seeing things – namely the ghostly apparition of the legendary Odondaga Six Nations marathon runner and Canadian icon Tom Longboat (who won the Boston marathon in 1907, fifty years before she was born).
The spirit of Longboat, in a strong performance by Asivak Koostachin, and who only appears to Beck, goads and inspires her through the grueling process of training for a marathon.
While the plot is relatively simple and unsurprising, the film deftly explores complex issues including recovery, grief, language, and self-discovery with a lighthearted touch.
This is a breakout performance for Hebert, who took home the Best Actress Award at the 2021 American Indian Film Festival, and most recently won the best Performance Award at the 2022 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival for her performance as Beck.
Herbert, a Dene entertainer, who was born and raised in Meadow Lake Saskatchewan, has a background in stand-up comedy, so this film is a perfect vehicle for her talents.
Asivak Koostachin, who grew up in Toronto Ontario, is equally engaging as Tom Longboat.
Koostachin has starred in a number of feature films, including Montana Story, and Trevor Mack’s 2021 Portraits of a Fire, which was shot on Tl’etinqox-t’in territory around the community of Anaham, B.C. Lorne Cardinal, best known for his character Davis Quinton on Corner Gas, appears in a memorable side role as Beck’s father.
At heart director and screen writer Zoe Hopkins is interested in making films that entertain and inspire: “I love making people laugh. I love being on set. I love making things with feel-good vibes.”
Her inspiration for writing the film was a desire “to see a woman on screen find selflove before the romantic kind.” Although the process of filming remotely during a pandemic was difficult, that experience helped drive home some of the film’s main themes, which Hopkins describes as “be[ing] grateful, honour[ing] the earth and liv[ing ]a good life (quoted from zoehopkins.ca).
Director Zoe Hopkins is a Heiltsuk and Mohawk woman and was born in the community of Bella Bella.
Her first feature, Kayak to Klemtu (2017), tells the story of a 14-year-old girl’s kayak trip with her family along the shores of the Great Bear rainforest to protest oil tanker traffic.
Excitingly, Hopkins is currently working on a new collaborative Crave Original Series, Little Bird.
The six-part series follows an Indigenous woman’s journey to find her birth mother. Hopkins wrote three episodes, and is currently in production for the three episodes she is directing.
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. We anticipate regular screenings will begin again in September. Tickets are $10 and are available for advance purchase at the Open Book.
The screening is taking place at the Paradise Cinemas in Williams Lake on Thursday May 19, and tickets will be for sale in the theatre lobby at 6:30 p.m.
The show is rated PG 13 and starts at 7 p.m.
This preview was submitted by Caroline Derksen of the Williams Lake Film Club.