Cape Breton emerging filmmaker, Ashley McKenzie creates quietly compelling fictional films that examine the social complexities in everyday life. Often featuring disenfranchised or vulnerable protagonists – homeless youth, drug addicts, children and seniors – her films are stories and nuanced portrayals of love, friendship, tenderness and endurance. Join us at the gallery for a free film screening of McKenzie’s 4 short films: 4 Quarters (2015, 13mins), Stray (2013, 14mins), When you Sleep(2012, 12mins), and Rhonda’s Party (2010, 7mins). All of McKenzie’s works are filmed in Cape Breton. A Q&A period with McKenzie, the CBU Art Gallery Curator, and Guest Moderator, Parker Donham will follow the film screening.

Ashley McKenzie is an emerging writer-director from Cape Breton Island, Canada. Her 2015 short 4 Quarters screened at TIFF, VIFF, Stockholm IFF, Festival du nouveau cinema, and won Best Short Film at the Atlantic Film Festival. With her previous work, Stray (’13), When You Sleep (’12), and Rhonda’s Party (10), McKenzie has earned a spot on Canada’s Top Ten Shorts list by TIFF, been a three-time recipient of the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award from the National Screen Institute of Canada, and won CBC’s Short Film Faceoff. She is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab and co-owner of grassfire films. Werewolf (2016) is her first feature film.

Parker Donham is a semi-retired journalist and communications consultant who operated the Cape Breton Island Film Series from 2003 to 2013. For 26 weeks a year, the film series rented a theatre from Empire and showed independent films in Cape Breton.

Free admission to the public

Image credit: Photographed by Steve Wadden. © Chronicle Herald.