Ashley McKenzie’s WEREWOLF exposes issues of addiction in Cape Breton
TORONTO (August 4, 2016) — TIFF16 official selection WEREWOLF is a raw and poetic portrait of the authentic experience of two methadone users in small town Cape Breton. The debut feature film, by Nova Scotian director Ashley McKenzie, follows the lives of Blaise (Andrew Gillis) and Nessa (Bhreagh MacNeil) as they struggle with the pains of addiction and desolation, reflected in the tempered landscape of their hopeless surroundings. WEREWOLF makes its world premiere in the Discovery lineup at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“WEREWOLF is a slice of life relationship film shot in my hometown on Cape Breton Island, a place about as far away from Hollywood as you can get in and still be in North America,” says award-winning director, Ashley McKenzie. “The film is about the transformations a young methadone-dependent couple undergo while attempting recovery together.”
McKenzie is an emerging writer-director from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her in-depth portrayal of addiction and toxic relationships features all non-professional actors, improvised scenes and was created on a micro-budget of $250,000 and filmed on a consumer camera. Andrew Gillis, the film’s powerhouse lead, is a non-professional actor who moonlights as a convenience store clerk in Cape Breton while writing and playing music with his band Rebecca’s Room. Andrew also starred in Ashley’s TIFF 2015 short 4 Quarters.
Ashley McKenzie has been awarded the Shaw Media Award for Fearless Female Director three times for her work in short films. The film was written, directed and edited by McKenzie and it is having its world premiere this TIFF16 season.
Ashley McKenzie is supported by the TIFF community as she earned a spot on Canada’s Top Ten Shorts list by TIFF. She is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab and is the co-owner of grassfire films. WEREWOLF makes its World Premiere on the TIFF16 stage, date TBC.