WHITEFACE

Films A-Z

15MIN

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Availability ended 26/10/2020 GMT
"An intentional misrepresentation of the colonial 'white' population in North America."
(23-26 Oct worldwide) Using explosive movement and satirical humour, two Indigenous performers tread the timeline of appropriation of Indigenous bodies, from cowboys to Coachella, exploring concepts of identity and colonization. Through movement, mask, and the subversion of the performance of Red Face, a history of social masks comes alive in this timely and impactful performance devised by Todd Houseman and Lady Vanessa Cardona.

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Director Bio

Everett is a nehiyaw film director from Edmonton, Alberta. After training as an actor, Everett made the transition to production, to become a producer, writer, director. As a graduate of the Red Deer College Degree program, Everett is practicing his talents as a film director and writer. He has written and directed projects such as, The Dancer, Falter, and Yard Work. Everett is in development for his first feature film "Crime Boy". Everett is also the recipient of the national William F. White Inc. Vilmos Zsigmond Scholarship, which he was awarded at the Bell Lightbox Theatre at TIFF. Recognizing the under representation of Indigenous peoples in the film community, Everett aims to better balance the demographic of Indigenous creatives in the industry.


Director Statement

I came across the original stage production of "Whiteface" in 2018 when I bought tickets to the show during the Edmonton Fringe Festival. After watching the emotionally captivating and visually stunning production produced and performed by Todd Houseman and Lady Vanessa Cardona, I eagerly introduced myself to them to compliment the show. Months down the road, an opportunity to devise a film adaptation came about. The three of us and my production partner Sam Burns worked together to develop the cinematic version of the play. Sam and I rewrote and adapted their original script and cut the then 45-minute play into a 16 minute short film.


As a theatre actor, the idea of bridging to two mediums of theatre and film was always the goal and with "Whiteface" this was now possible. The idea, recreate the play while adding the cinematic techniques of filmmaking. This aimed to make a more absurd and experimental short film rather than a traditional narrative; forcing the audience to open their minds to the subtext of the short. The vague set in a black void, the characters in whiteface, and the visually striking masks helped devise an environment where abnormality is accepted; a theme well traversed in the theatre community.


By enhancing the themes of the play, we were able to discuss the subject of colonization and appropriation of Indigenous culture by white society. The masks used throughout the show by the characters imitate the sexual indian, the poverty indian, and the criminal indian. Each mask sequence dives into the stereotypes that white society has forced onto Indigenous society. The dark humour and witty commentary separates the mask sequences to remind the audience of the real discrimination Indigenous people face. "Whiteface" is aimed to provide voices for the oppressed Indigenous community through a unique and artistic visual film.

Credits

Directed by Everett Sokol

Written by Todd Houseman
Lady Vanessa Cardona
Everett Sokol
Sam Burns

Production Company Telus Storyhive

Produced by Todd Houseman
Lady Vanessa Cardona
Everett Sokol
Sam Burns

Cast Howie Miller
Christine Sokaymoh Fredrick
Todd Houseman
Lady Vanessa Cardona

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