A washed-up former child actor who can’t seem to get his life together decides that the only way to get back on track is to recreate his glory days with a belated sequel to the landmark 1998 indie movie that put him on this path. Cue Smoke Signals 2: Still Smoking…
Cody Lightning (who played the young Viktor in Chris Eyre’s seminal Native American classic) has a lot of fun, mostly at his own expense, with this surprisingly edgy meta-mockumentary, and successfully reassembles many of the original cast, including Simon Baker, Adam Beach, Gary Farmer and Irene Bedard. For the most part, they’re (understandably) dubious about his project — only his best friend Kate (Hannah Cheesman) really believes. But Cody’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Lightning strikes twice.
This dark and sometimes raunchy comedy suggests healing comes through laughter and chaos — not necessarily in that order.
October 4 & 5: Q&A with director Cody Lightning & crew
Series Media Partners
Blackhorse Lowe, Samuel Miller
Joshua M. Jackson, Sara Corry, Kyle Thomas, Blake McWilliam
Cody Lightning, Samuel Miller
As an actor, Cody Lightning is iconic for his performance as Little Viktor in 1998’s Smoke Signals. Hailing from Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada, Cody began acting at age five in the film Geronimo. Since, he has become one of Hollywood’s most active Indigenous actors, best known for his roles in Johnny Depp’s directorial debut The Brave, Rian Johnson’s Brick, and many, many more. In 2023, Cody will star in Marvel’s upcoming ECHO series. In recent years, Lightning has taken on greater creative responsibilities, including producing, directing, and writing, focusing on projects that highlight how hilarious Indigenous people are.
See more films in this series:
Wild Goat Surf
Scrounging and scheming her way through the summer, 12-year-old Goat talks a big game about becoming a world-class surfer... Despite having never actually surfed or even seen the ocean. A charming tale about trying to slip the shackles of circumstance.
With their parents tending to their crumbling marriage, 11-year-old Stephanie is drawn to a pack of unruly teens, while six-year-old Emmy answers an eerie cave's siren call. A deftly orchestrated, deeply moving portrait of a family about to implode.
The summer before college, a city girl finds herself in Tofino, alienated by the local beach culture—that is, until she falls for the charming local lifeguard, which throws her carefully planned future into question.
I Don't Know Who You Are
A gay Toronto musician is sexually assaulted one night and is in a panicked race against time to pay for HIV-preventive PrEP treatment, all the while trying to navigate the legal system and deal with the emotional aftermath of the trauma.
16 and ready to lose her virginity, Lindy is distressed to learn she has a rare condition which means she will never conceive and penetrative sex will require intervention. McGlynn's raw, funny film resonates with debates around sex and gender conformity.
Interspersing interviews with archival footage, Union Street documents the history of Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, the formerly Black neighbourhood which was destroyed by the construction of the Georgia viaduct in the 1970s.
I Used to Be Funny
Sam Cowell (Rachel Sennott) used to spend her nights working the comedy clubs of Toronto and her days as an au pair for Brooke (Olga Petsa). Now Sam hides from the world, tormented by PTSD and grappling with the news of Brooke’s disappearance.
25 years after the success of the iconic film Smoke Signals, a disheveled former child actor decides to create a sequel to relive his fame. This mockumentary follows him on the chaotic uphill journey to do whatever it takes to make it big again.
Aitamaako'tamisskapi Natosi: Before the Sun
A thrilling portrait of a young Siksika woman as she trains for one of the most dangerous horse races in the world: on bareback. Logan Red Crow is an Indian Relay rider who vaults from horse to horse in exhilarating races. She is a champion in the making.
Les Filles du Roi
Corey Payette's rousing microbudget musical (adapted from the Urban Ink stage production he cowrote with Julie McIsaac) chronicles the friendship between a seventeenth century French woman and a Mohawk trader and his sister.
When Adam Changes
Most teenagers are impressionable, but Adam's body literally morphs in response to mockery. Called fat, his waist grows. But in some ways this is the least of his problems, in this delightfully absurd reflection on teen life in the 1990s.
Someone Lives Here
In the summer of 2021, Khaleel Seivwright, a carpenter, decided to build tiny homes for Toronto’s homeless population. Soon afterwards, the city closed him down. An important story for our times of housing insecurity.