November 15, 2018

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Award-winning Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Trevor Mack releases visually striking short film about child suicide online

Award-winning Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Trevor Mack releases visually striking short film about child suicide online

Award-winning Tsilhqot’in filmmaker Trevor Mack has released his new short film ‘ʔEtsu’ on YouTube. The title ‘ʔEtsu’ translates to ‘grandmother’ in his Tsilhqot’in language, and Mack says, is dedicated to his own grandmother who passed in 2016, “I was incredibly close to my own grandmother. When she passed, I fortunately had a tight-knit family net that I fell back on to help me through the rough times. ʔEtsu is about a child not having that net after tragedy strikes.”

The 13-minute, POV-style film follows a young Indigenous boy on an isolated reserve in the interior of BC, Canada who is struggling to cope with the death of his grandmother. “The film is essentially a proof-of-concept for a feature film I am currently working on, however the story itself is very personal,” Mack mentions that fellow filmmaker Kelton Stepanowich made the film possible with a generous donation, “Kelton [Stepanowich] heard about the story I was working on with writer Derek Vermillion, and he straight up gave me $500 and told me to go at it and make a proof-of-concept short. So I went to my home reserve on a Friday and shot the entire thing. We had the rough cut done by Tuesday.”

The short film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2017 with high accolades. Andrew Parker of THE GATE Entertainment Magazine reviewed the film before its world premiere stating, “…the boy’s journey starts of poignant, but builds up to a grand tragedy with stark, timely relevance. It’s moving, gutting, must-see filmmaking.” Norm Wilner of NOW Magazine reviewed Mack’s film as well, saying, “…a mediation on family, memory and generation pain with a striking visual aesthetic…”

Striking visual effects play a large part in the form-bending, meta structure of the film, Mack says, “The core element of the film is the data-moshing, and how we can tell a story through the fictional character watching the same film we’re watching.” The ‘data-moshing’ effects Mack explains was created with the help of Asia Youngman, an Indigenous filmmaker from Vancouver, BC. “This was a very small passion project that was created by a very small group of passion people. And it came out very well.”

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Trevor Mack
(604)-317-1822
www.trevormack.ca

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