The 2016 Toronto International Film Festival is almost upon us and it will feature plenty of highly anticipated premieres, but the festival will also debut many films by up-and-coming directors who should be on everyone’s radar. One of these is Ashley McKenzie’s debut feature “Werewolf,” a raw and poetic portrait of the authentic experience of two homeless, twentysomething methadone users in small town Cape Breton. The film follows the lives of Nessa (Bhreagh MacNeil), a waif lost in a harsh world, and Blaise (Andrew Gillis), a creature of impulse who’s easily provoked by his environment. They survive primarily through an underground economy, sleeping in tents, and fighting with bureaucrats and clinic doctors. This relationship drama captures the real humanity of isolated raw pain and the disorientation of modern life. Watch an exclusive clip from the film below.
“‘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 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. She has been awarded the Shaw Media Award for Fearless Female Director three times for her work in short films. “Werewolf” features all non-professional actors, improvised scenes and was created on a micro-budget of $250,000 and filmed on a consumer camera.
“Werewolf” will make its world premiere in the Discovery lineup at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from September 8th through 18th.