PHILLIP LEWITSKI (Link) is an actor to watch, best known for his leading role in the Hulu original series “Utopia Falls.” Currently, he stars as the lead role of ‘Link’ in the independent film Wildhood (2021), premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. Filmed in both English and Mi’kmaw, the story follows ‘Link’ and his half-brother after they flee their abusive father and embark on a journey to find his Mi’kmaw mother after he finds out she is still alive. On the journey, ‘Link’ finds community, identity, and love in the land where he belongs. For his work in Wildhood, Phillip has received the TIFF Rising Stars award, joining previous recipients Tatiana Maslany and Kelvin Harrison Jr. with the honor. Each year TIFF showcases a new generation of talent poised for success with this award. Wildhood is also celebrated by the TIFF Next Wave Committee as a film that transports and moves you, and above all, reaffirms what it means for young people to tell their own stories and fight for change in the world.
Next up for Phillip is the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks executive produced Apple TV+ series “Masters of the Air,” with Austin Butler. Based on a true story, he portrays ‘Lt. Francis Harper.’ Five miles above the earth and deep behind enemy lines, eleven men inside a bomber known as the “Flying Fortress” fight for their lives against swarms of enemy German fighters. As American bombers are picked off one by one, their mission becomes very clear: survive. Other small screen work on his resume includes the cult favorite series CW’s “Supernatural” and in the series finale of History Channel’s “Vikings,” as We’jitu.’
JOSH ODJICK (Pasmay) Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Joshua Odjick was raised in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation community. He began his acting career after finishing high school and while studying small business development during the day, he went to acting class in evenings and on weekends. Joshua’s most recent credits include: Bootlegger, Unsettled, Coroner, and Boundless. He loves music and outdoors and has a knack of speaking with animals. His goal is to someday tell a story behind camera to showcase his culture of legends and stories of Anishinabeg, such as the creation story, little people, medicine people, etc.
AVERY WINTERS-ANTHONY (Travis) is from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and got his big break when he was discovered at his Muay Thai gym class after overhearing a conversation between Gharrett Patrick Paon and Bretten Hannam about a short film they were producing. After declaring his love of acting and desire to be in a movie, he was cast in their short film Wildfire, the precursor to Wildhood. He loved his first experience on set and was thrilled when only 3 months later he was cast in another short film; Popsy, directed by Jon Mann and based on the short story by Stephen King. After Mann saw Avery working on the set of Wildfire he changed the lead character in his film from a girl to a boy and offered Avery the part. Soon after Popsy, he filmed his 3rd short , Death and A Kid directed by Kirsten Swinkles which premiered at the Atlantic film festival FIN in 2021. Being able to return to set in the role of Travis in 2020 for the feature Wildhood was an incredible experience. Wildhood premiered at TIFF 2021 and was the Opening Gala film at FIN where Avery won the award for “Outstanding Performance in Acting.” Avery also loves to kayak, play guitar, go skateboarding, snowboarding and hang with his two dogs Fluffer and Rosie.
MICHAEL GREYEYES (Smokey) is a multi-hyphenate talent – actor, director, choreographer, and scholar – whose diverse career from stage to screen spans over 25 years. He is currently filming the Universal/Blumhouse adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel Firestarter. Greyeyes will step into the role of “Rainbird,” which was played by Oscar winner George C. Scott in the 1984 movie. Most recently, Greyeyes starred in the thriller Wild Indian, the feature debut by writer/director Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr, which premiered in competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. The film, which will be released theatrically later this year, follows two Anishinaabe men who are inextricably bound together after covering up the savage murder of a schoolmate. He received rave reviews from critics for his gripping portrayal of “Makwa/Michael.” Greyeyes currently stars opposite Ed Helms in the Peacock comedy “Rutherford Falls.” Co-created and executive produced by Helms, Mike Schur (“The Good Place”) and Sierra Teller Ornelas, the series is set in a small town in upstate New York and the Native American reservation it borders.
In the past two years, Greyeyes has made impactful and resonating appearances in a handful of critically acclaimed projects including recurring roles on HBO’s anthology crime drama “True Detective,” opposite Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff, and the HBO limited series, “I Know This Much Is True,” opposite Mark Ruffalo. He also starred in the independent horror film, Blood Quantum, written and directed by Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, which featured an Indigenous cast. The groundbreaking film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, blends horror with socio political subtext, imagining a world in which those with Indigenous blood are immune to a vicious zombie apocalypse. It topped this year’s Canadian Screen Awards with seven honors, including “Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role,” for which Greyeyes won for his portrayal of “Traylor.”
JOEL THOMAS HYNES (Arvin) is a multidisciplinary artist from Newfoundland, Canada, and is creator, writer, star, and executive producer of Little Dog. Hynes’ latest novel, We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night, won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award for English language fiction and was also included on the long list for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize as well as the winner for the BMO Winterset Award. Hynes has worked in the Canadian film and television industry for more than fifteen years as a writer, actor and director. He’s written and directed two award-winning short films, Clipper Goldand Little Man, and is the author of numerous acclaimed books and stage plays including the novels Down to the Dirtand Right Away Monday. Hynes recently penned the screen adaptation of his book Say Nothing Saw Wood under the title Cast No Shadow, which was nominated for four 2015 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Motion Picture.
As an actor he’s performed numerous lead and principal roles for TV and film, including Down to the Dirt, Crackie, Cast No Shadow, Book of Negroes, ReGenesis, Rookie Blue, Republic of Doyle, Mary Kills People and Orphan Black. Joel recently starred in the indie feature Scattered & Small as well as a supporting role in Goalie opposite Mark O’Brien. Most recently, Joel was a series regular in the television series Trickster and guest starred on Pretty Hard Cases, both for CBC. Hynes’ awards include The 2014 AFF’s Best Atlantic Screenwriter, The Newfoundland and Labrador Artist of the Year Award, Nickel Independent Film Festival People’s Choice Award, The Yorkton Film Festival Best Actor Award, The Lawrence Jackson Creative Writing Award, The Cuffer Prize, Summerworks Theatre Festival Best Dramatic Script Award and the Newfoundland Arts and Letters Award for Best Dramatic Script. Hynes is an alumnus of the Cineplex Screenwriters Lab at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto. He can be seen in the current season of Netflix’s drama Frontier
SAVONNA SPRACKLIN ((Heek’al)) (Sarah) is an actor, writer, editor and director. She is a member of the Nisga’a Nation. Savonna’s recent credits include a Recurring Guest role on Tribal from director/showrunner Ron E. Scott with Prairie Dog Films/APTN, and a Guest Star role on Big Sky from ABC. She is an award-winning actress for her debut performance in Telegraph Cove, and an alumna from Vancouver Film School Acting for Film & Television. Her credits also include Hold The Dark directed by Jeremy Saulnier, Yellowstone directed by Taylor Sheridan, and Mohawk Girls directed by Tracey Deer.
STEVE LUND (Dale) A proud son of Nova Scotia, Steve took his family’s entertainer gene to a new place after hanging up his hockey skates in exchange for a life in showbiz. Once graduated from the Vancouver Film School, he started to get roles on TV shows such as Blue Mountain State, and Haven before scoring a series regular role in Space’s werewolf drama Bitten.
Since then, he has landed numerous roles for the Hallmark Channel and recurred as the highborn rogue ‘Luc Narcisse’ in The CW’s Reign. In addition, he has also starred in the two lead roles of ‘Adam Darling’ in CBC’s reboot of Street Legal and ‘Mitch’ in Warner Bros horror-comedy, The Banana Splits Movie. Most notably, Steve recurred as the controversial town hottie ‘Jake’ in the CBC Emmy winning series Schitt’s Creek. Upcoming projects include the raucous comedy Faith Heist as well as the Hallmark holiday film Baby, It’s Cold Inside.
BRETTEN HANNAM (Writer/Director/Producer) is a Two Spirit L’nu filmmaker living in Kespukwitk, Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) where they were raised. Their films deal with themes of community, culture, and language with a focus on two spirit and LGBTQ+ identity. They co-wrote the short, Champagne, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and wrote/directed North Mountain, a Two Spirit thriller that won Best Original Score at the Atlantic Film Festival and the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature. They also wrote/directed the short film Wildfire which premiered at BFI Flare and went on to play at Frameline LGBT Film Festival, as well as Vancouver International Film Festival, ImagineNative, and Inside Out LGBT Film Festival. Bretten is a Fellow of the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters, Outfest Screenwriting Lab, Whistler’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship, and the CFC Writers Lab.
GHARRETT PATRICK PAON (Producer) is an actor-turned-producer based in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University (’17), is an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre’s – Producer’s Lab (’17), and the National Screen Institute’s Features First Program (’19). Gharrett is the president of Rebel Road Films, a boutique film & television production company he founded in 2018 and has operated solely since its inception. In the last 4 years Gharrett has endeavored to use the company to help produce his friend’s work, which has born a diversified slate of films, series and short form content that highlight an allyship towards queer and Indigenous filmmakers. At the end of 2019 Rebel Road produced I am Syd Stone, a 6-episode queer web series by writer/director Denis Theriault, now streaming in six countries worldwide via OutTV. The company has also produced two seasons of Spirit Talker for APTN. Recently The Mohel by writer/director Charles Wahl, won best live action short at Palm Springs International Short Fest. Gharrett’s films have screened at SXSW, BFI-Flare, Frameline, VIFF, FIN:AIFF, Inside Out, Out of Competition at Clermont-Ferrand as part of Canada’s Not Short on Talent showcase, and ImagineNative. Recently Wildfire, the short film version of Wildhood won Best Short Film at the Screen Nova Scotia Awards.
Gharrett is the recipient of the prestigious Nova Scotia Talent Trust Young Artist of Excellence Award and the Shelagh Mackenzie Filmmaking Award. His performances on screen have been nominated for two ACTRA awards. This summer he’s been filming a recurring role on the fourth season of The Sinner opposite Bill Pullman, while renovating a tiny houseboat moored in Mahone Bay.
JULIE BALDASSI (Producer) is the creative producer and founder of Younger Daughter Films. Her films have played at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Hot Docs, DOC NYC, and the Toronto International Film Festival, and have received awards at the Canadian Screen Awards, the Webby Awards, Cinema Eye Honors. Her 2018 film with director Charlie Tyrell, My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, was short-listed for an Academy Award. In 2019, Julie produced Sofia Banzhaf’s TIFF Top Ten-selected I Am in the World as Free and Slender as A Deer on A Plain and Tyrell’s Sundance/SXSW selected Broken Orchestra. Her first feature was co-producing the 2017 micro-budget comedy Dim the Fluorescents, starring Claire Armstrong and Naomi Skwarna, which received the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance. Upcoming projects include The Incident Report, writer/director Naomi Jaye’s adaptation of the Giller Prize-nominated novel by Martha Baillie, the debut thriller from Sofia Banzhaf with writer Greyson Moore, and Charlie Tyrell’s documentary with producers with Mona Panchal, Shannon Riggs, and Clay Tweel.
DAMON D’OLIVEIRA (Executive Producer) Under the banner of Flimshow Inc. and Conquering Lion Pictures, Damon D’Oliveira’s films and television series have achieved wide international acclaim. Damon recently produced The Grizzlies, which was Canada’s highest grossing English language film in 2019 – a searing first feature about an Inuit lacrosse team formed to counter an epidemic of suicide in the community of Kugluktuk. Flimshow Inc. also executive produced the Telefilm Canada-supported feature films: Honey Bee (Durban 2018) directed by Rama Rau and The Rest of Us starring Heather Graham (TIFF 2019, Palm Springs 2020).
Damon also executive produced the miniseries adaptation of The Book of Negroes, based on the best-selling novel by Lawrence Hill. The Book of Negroes was nominated for two U.S. Critics Choice Awards by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association for Best Limited Series and Best Actress in a Limited Series and won the CableFax Program Award for Best Miniseries – a first for a Canadian production. The series debuted to historic ratings on the Canadian Broadcasting Network, marking a twenty-five year high for a one-hour drama premiere. In the US, it also drew landmark ratings for BET, as their first-ever Black period mini-series. The Book of Negroes stars Aunjanue Ellis (Quantico, The Help), along with Oscar-winners © Cuba Gooding Jr. & Louis Gossett Jr and three-time Oscar © nominee, Jane Alexander.
Damon’s other films include first feature, Rude, which world premiered in selection at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard section. Damon has also produced some of Canada’s most innovative feature films, including Poor Boy’s Game (2007) (BERLIN TIFF 2007), Lie With Me (BERLIN TIFF 2005), Love Come Down (BERLIN TIFF 2000) and What We Have/Ce Qu’on A (Winner Best Franco-Canadian Film at Rendez-vous du Cinema Quebecois 2015, Montreal, Best Canadian Feature at Inside Out Toronto LGBT Festival 2015, Best Feature Film, Barcelona Film Festival 2015). Damon is actively involved in the Canadian film community, sitting on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Media Producers Association, The Black Screen Office and Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund.
GUY GODFREE (Director of Cinematography) Guy’s feature film cinematography work includes the multiple Canadian Screen Award winning Maudie, directed by Aisling Walsh and starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins. (Telluride, TIFF, Berlinale) For Maudie, Guy was honoured by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers with the 2017 award for Best Theatrical Feature, as well as an international nomination for the IMAGO Awards in Finland. Guy was also recently nominated for a Canadian Society of Cinematographer Award for the film Let Him Go with director Thomas Bezucha and starring Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Leslie Manville. Other credits include Slash Back with director Nyla Innuksuk, The Parting Glass directed by Stephen Moyer and starring Anna Paquin, Cynthia Nixon, Melissa Leo, Rhys Ifans, and Ed Asner. Giant Little Ones (TIFF 2018) starring Kyle MacLachlan and Maria Bello, Jordan Canning’s feature Suck It Up (Slamdance 2017), So Yong Kim’s Lovesong (Sundance 2016) and Lindsay Mackay’s Wet Bum (TIFF 2014). Guy is originally from the Maritime province of Nova Scotia, Canada and currently splits his time between New York City and Toronto.
ESHAWN RYKISS (Editor) is an award-winning film and television editor based in Toronto, Canada. He is a graduate of Vancouver Film School and an alumnus of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre Editor’s Lab. Shaun served as supervising editor for five television docuseries before transitioning into scripted film and series. His work on the digital series, I am Syd Stone, garnered him the 2021 Canadian Cinema Editors award for Best Editing in Web Based Series, and his first two feature films, Wildhood (dir. Bretten Hannam) and Learn to Swim (dir. Thyrone Tommy), will premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.
MICHAEL PIERSON (Production Designer)is a Nova Scotia based Production Designer and Art Director focusing on design for commercial, event and independent production. With an involved background in installation art and Photography, he made a fluid transition to design after moving to the east coast more than a decade ago. His creativity is heavily influenced by east coast stories and directors. Notable credits include: “Werewolf” (2016), “Trailer Park Boys” (2013-2017) “Little Grey Bubbles” (2018), “The Mohel” (2021).
EMLYN MURRAY (Costume Designer) is a costume designer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. An alumna of Costume Studies at Dalhousie University, Emlyn has been designing for theatre and film since 2014. Recent design credits for film include Studio Black! (CBC), Forgive Me (Emotion Pictures), These Woods are Haunted (Travel Channel), Splinters (Emotion Pictures), Halloween Party (Northeast Films), 8:37 Rebirth (Rebirth Films Inc). In 2018 she won the Robert Merritt Theatre Award for Outstanding Costume Design for her work on Princess Rules (HEIST).
NEIL HAVERTY (Composer) As a founding member of Toronto ensemble Bruce Peninsula and as a solo artist, Haverty has released several critically acclaimed LPs and has toured extensively across North America, including headlining appearances at SXSW and the Dawson City Music Festival. As an audio/visual composer, Neil has contributed to numerous short and feature films (Sleeping Giant, Small Town Murder Songs, Burns Point) and has screened work at the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, among others. His recent film work includes Newfoundland-based coming-of-age feature, Body & Bones, and the Canadian Screen Award-winning animated short Hot Flash. Haverty is an alumnus of the Slaight Family Music Lab at the Canadian Film Centre and is a co-founder and Senior Manager of the music video support initiatives Prism Prize & The MVP Project.