Northern feature film Elijah and the Rock Creature will have its first public screenings in Yellowknife this week.
The movie, directed by Jen Walden and produced by Jeremy Emerson, had two sold-out showings during last year’s Yellowknife International Film Festival but has not screened in the city since.
“I’m excited to bring it back,” said Walden. ” I still have lots of friends who are like, ‘How am I ever going to get to see this?’
“It’s really exciting to have it come back and play multiple times.”
Elijah and the Rock Creature tells the fantastical tale of a young boy who meets a strange creature in the NWT wilderness. The two embark on an adventure which touches on the connection between kids and parents, making new friends, and coping with loss.
The movie will show at Yellowknife’s Capitol Theatre at 1:10pm on Saturday and Sunday April 13-14, with a 7:10pm showtime on Wednesday, April 17 – National Film Day across Canada.
While Yellowknife has had to wait six months for a second chance to see the movie, Elijah and the Rock Creature has been busy touring the festival circuit across North America.
After trips to Austin, Texas, and Whitehorse, the movie has more recently screened in Montreal and is now heading to an Iowa festival.
Walden, meanwhile, won’t be here for her movie’s homecoming. Also one of the North’s best-known visual artists, she has begun a three-month program at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.
“I was there five years ago and I had such an incredible time, and learned so much that I’ve basically been saving for since the day I got home to return,” she said.
While in Florence, she will continue the early stages of planning for a second feature film.
Her second movie, says Walden, will be an expansion of Preserved – a short film she entered for the Dead North horror movie festival a few years ago, involving children, snow globes, some fantasy, and a northern setting.
“I’m planning to use that three months to finish the first draft of the script, and then come back in the summer and hopefully be able to launch that into the next phase of development,”she said.
Eventually, she added, the ambition is to create a movie that makes money. So far, Elijah and the Rock Creature has not broken even – though that could change.
“We’re working on it,” said Walden. “We have actually managed to sign with an international sales agent, and that in itself is a really hard thing to do … as a small, indie film with no big Hollywood actors in it.
“We still were able to sign with a large agency which is trying to sell the film for us internationally, and that process has just begun.
“So now we’re hoping that we’re going to get some news that we will make some sales and, who knows, maybe it will be on, like, the German Disney Channel – there are all kinds of places you never knew existed that this film could play.
“And then, maybe, we would break even.”