ROSIE

Until Branches Bend

Maya Annik Bedward

TIFF 2022

ROSIE

A film by Gail Maurice

L-R: Mélanie Bray, Keris Hope Hill, Alex Trahan, Constant Bernard star in ROSIE, written & directed by Gail Maurice

World Premiere – Sept 9, 2022 – 6:15pm – Scotiabank 10
Public Screening – Sept 14, 2022 – 5:30pm – Scotiabank 13
P+I Screening – Sept 12, 2022 – 3:45pm – Scotiabank 9

In what may rank as one of the most timely and resonant films to screen at the 47th annual Toronto International Film Festival, Métis filmmaker/actor Gail Maurice’s bilingual feature ROSIE asks viewers to consider what family means, and why it can take many forms.

 

Receiving its World Premiere as part of TIFF’s consistently groundbreaking Discovery Programme, ROSIE is Maurice’s feature film debut, and is based on her celebrated 2018 short of the same name. A story about family, love, and misfits, ROSIE heralds an important new voice on the Canadian cinematic scene.

 

ROSIE opens in the summer of 1984 in Montréal, and follows the title character, a young, orphaned, Indigenous girl who is forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart Aunty Frédérique (Mélanie Bray).

 

Frédérique (Fred) has just lost her job and is on the verge of eviction. An artist who creates art from found and discarded objects or other peoples’ trash, Fred introduces Rosie to her two best friends Flo and Mo, glamorous street workers who refuse to be confined by gender. In the end, it is Rosie who transforms the lives of these colourful characters and finds love, acceptance, and a true home with her new chosen family of glittering outsiders.

 

The film – both funny and poignant – showcases an original ensemble of emerging talents, headed by six-year-old Keris Hope Hill as Rosie. A Kanien’kehá:ka girl from the Six Nations of the Grand River, Hill was cast after an exhaustive search for a young Indigenous actor who could carry the role. ROSIE marks the young actor’s film debut.

 

When English-speaking, Indigenous Rosie is thrust upon her French-speaking, Caucasian aunt she feels a sense of alienation and isolation but it doesn’t last long. What connects all of the characters is their ability to uncover beauty and magic, both in their circumstances and surroundings.

 

“This film is about resilience and the beauty of love and acceptance,” says Maurice, whose multiple acting credits include 2021’s award-winning feature Night Raiders as well as the hit television shows Trickster and Cardinal.

 

Maurice continues: “It’s about alienation, identity, and the revelation that we are all capable and worthy of love. It’s a story about fringe dwellers, society’s ‘throwaways,’ struggling to survive against all odds. It’s about finding your chosen family and seeking ‘treasures’ in trash.”

 

ROSIE is a story of triumph over adversity.

 

ROSIE is written, directed and produced by Gail Maurice (Assini Productions). Jamie Manning (Night Market) is Producer, Mélanie Bray is Co-Producer, Celiana Cárdenas is Director of Photography, Joshua Turpin is Production Designer, Shaun Rykiss is Editor, and Scotty Taylor is Music Supervisor. 

 

ROSIE stars Mélanie Bray as Fred (Frédérique), Keris Hope Hill as Rosie, Constant Bernard as Flo, Alex Trahan as Mo, Josée Young as Barb, Brandon Oakes as Jigger, Jocelyne Zucco as Germaine, and Arlen Aguayo Stewart as Janine.

 

ROSIE is produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, The Indigenous Screen Office, Ontario Creates, Urban Post Production, Canada Council for the Arts, Superchannel, and APTN.

 

ROSIE is distributed in Canada by PHOTON Films.

ABOUT ASSINI PRODUCTIONS

Gail Maurice incorporated Assini Productions, a 100% Indigenous-owned company, in August 2006 to produce short and feature length films that portray strong, positive Indigenous stories and characters by Indigenous people. Assini Productions was born out of a need to tell their own stories. To make films that inform, educate and encourage awareness of Indigenous history, culture, language and traditions. 

ABOUT NIGHT MARKET

Jamie Manning’s Night Market produces film and television driven by diverse voices and unique visions. It strives to support both emerging and established artists, while bringing intriguing, thought-provoking and inspiring material to niche and mass audiences worldwide. 

Night Market founder Jamie Manning most recently produced Bent Hamer’s The Middle Man, starring Pål Sverre Hagan, Paul Gross, and Tuva Novotny, which premiered as a Special Presentation at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous to this, he produced Darlene Naponse’s TIFF Official Selection and imagineNATIVE Audience Choice award-winner Falls Around Her, starring Tantoo Cardinal, as well as Sook-Yin Lee’s Octavio is Dead!, starring Sarah Gadon and Rosanna Arquette. Jamie was also an associate producer on Atom Egoyan’s Guest of Honour, starring David Thewlis and Luke Wilson, which world premiered in competition for the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.

ABOUT PHOTON FILMS AND MEDIA (FORMERLY PACIFIC NORTHWEST PICTURES)

Launched in 2010, Photon Films and Media (photonfilms.ca), formerly Pacific Northwest Pictures, is a leading Canadian entertainment company specializing in the development, financing, production and distribution of feature films for the domestic and international marketplace. With an emphasis on high quality films from leading filmmakers in diverse genres, Photon Films brings those films to consumers with innovative forms of marketing and distribution across all distribution platforms.

Releases include the Academy Award Winning Sound of Metal with Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke, Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby starring Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon and Dianna Agron, Leo Award Winning Portraits from a Fire from Trevor Mack, and Alice starring Keke Palmer and Common. Upcoming releases include Sundance Audience Award Winner Girl Picture, and 2022 TIFF selections ROSIE from Gail Maurice and Until Branches Bend from Sophie Jarvis and starring Grace Glowicki.

Until Branches Bend

Written and Directed by Sophie Jarvis

Grace Glowicki stars in UNTIL BRANCHES BEND, written and directed by Sophie Jarvis

World Premiere – Sept. 10, 2022 – 8:00pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2
2nd Public Screening – Sept. 12, 2022 – 8:30pm – Scotiabank 10
P+I Screening – Sept 12, 2022 – 6:40pm – Scotiabank 4

Arriving at a moment when humanity’s relationship to the natural world has never seemed more fraught, and with invasions troublingly common, the hotly anticipated feature-length debut Until Branches Bend, from writer-director Sophie Jarvis, is set to receive its World Premiere at the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

 

Filmed in British Columbia’s bountiful Okanagan region, the taut psychological drama observes Robin (Grace Glowicki), a distraught cannery worker who discovers an invasive insect in a peach that could threaten the livelihood of her entire town where she lives with her younger sister Laney (Alexandra Roberts in a breakthrough performance).

 

Yet sounding the alarm also brings distress: the canning factory shuts down, farms are placed under quarantine, and most of the people in Montague find themselves unemployed, with Robin to blame. Meanwhile, Robin has been struggling to get an abortion. Unable to take control of her own body, she devotes herself to finding proof that the bug she found was real. The parallel between these two invasions becomes clear as Robin loses herself in her obsession.

 

Until Branches Bend marks Jarvis’ triumphant return to TIFF, where her short film The Worst Day Ever had its premiere in 2012. Since then, Jarvis has directed multiple, acclaimed short films, with her extensive background as a production designer informing her already keen eye as a filmmaker.

 

Cinematographer Jeremy Cox, who worked on Jarvis’ award-winning 2018 short, Medical Drama, captured the ethereal beauty of the film’s west coast setting on 16mm film. The score was composed by Kieran Jarvis, and is distinct in its evocative, raw vocals and flutes.

 

“The sensory experience of summers spent in my grandparents’ wholesome orchard town of Summerland spawned the idea for Until Branches Bend,” Jarvis says, adding that she is delighted to have her feature screen as part of TIFF’s renowned Discovery Programme.

 

“The film examines the underlying tensions beneath idyllic appearances, and how a community can turn on one of its members when they step out of line.”

 

Jarvis confirms that, despite its tense themes, making Until Branches Bend was an exhilarating experience for its cast, crew, and especially, its writer-director.

 

“Every single day, I woke up excited for work. I can’t wait to share Until Branches Bend with the people who made it happen, and for their talent to be shared and celebrated with the rest of the world.”

 

A terrific cast that includes Grace Glowicki, actor, writer, director  (Best feature film Tito (2019); Nominee for Canadian Screen Award 2021; “TIFF Rising Star” 2016, Sundance Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance, SXSW Adam Yauch Award, Oldenburg Audacity Award and B3 Biennial of the Moving Image Inspiration Award.)

 

Alexandra Roberts (LANEY) in a breakthrough performance.

 

Quelemia Sparrow (ISABELLE)  Quelemia Sparrow is an actor, playwright, and director from the Musqueam Nation based in the city known as Vancouver. Recent acting credits include Until Branches Bend (Ceroma/Experimental Forest/Reign films), Motherland – Fort Salem (Freeform/FX) and the upcoming Reckoning: Daughter (Article 11). Most recently, she directed White Girls in Moccasins for The Frank Theater in Vancouver.

 

Lochlyn Munro (DENNIS): Notable film roles include A Night at the Roxbury (1998), Scary Movie (2000), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), The Predator (2018) and Cosmic Sin (2021). In television he’s best known for his roles in the Canadian series Northwood, supernatural drama Charmed, and teen drama Riverdale.

 

Antoine Des Rochers (FABIEN): Montreal actor who made his debut in the action thriller Nitro (2007). Also known for his roles in Antigone (2019), It’s Only the End of the World (2016) and Nitro Rush (2016). He has frequently worked with his father, director Alain Desrochers.

 

Producers include Experimental Forest Films (Kathleen Hepburn, Tyler Hagain), Ceroma Films (Sara Blake), and Reign Films (Magali Gillon-Krizaj), along with Swiss Co-Producers Cinédokké (Michela Pini, Olga Lamontanara).

 

Until Branches Bend is written and directed by Sophie Jarvis, Cinematography by Jeremy Cox, Editor is Kane Stewart, and Composer is Kieran Jarvis. The film was shot on 16mm and was made possible through the support of Telefilm Canada, CMF, Crave, Swiss Federal Office of Culture, and RSI (Radiotelevisione Svizzera) Creative BC and Harold Greenberg Fund. Until Branches Bend is distributed in Canada by Photon Films.

Maya Annik Bedward is a Jamaican-French Canadian director working in film and television. After living in Brazil and the UK, Maya returned to Toronto and co-founded Third Culture Media with her producing partner, Kate Fraser. Visually colourful and sonically rich, her work uses levity and nuance to explore themes of locality, ancestry and belonging.

 

Maya is a fellow of the DOC Institute Breakthrough program and the EFM DocSalon Toolbox Programme. Her work has screened at Hot Docs, TIFF, Black Star and the New Orleans Film Festival. She has also directed episodes for FARM CRIME (CBC Gem), BLK: AN ORIGIN STORY (History Channel, Global TV) and the upcoming series, LIDO TV (CBC Gem).

 

Dedicated to fostering a more equitable and inclusive industry, Maya is a founding member of the Black Screen Office and a mentor for the Telus StoryHive Black Creators Edition. She is currently in production on her first feature documentary, BLACK ZOMBIE.

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