Having decamped to a Gabriola Island couples’ retreat in a last-ditch attempt to save their crumbling marriage, preoccupied Judith (Ally Maki) and Steve (Luke Roberts) leave their young daughters to their own devices. In turn, 11-year-old Stephanie (Nyha Breitkreuz) quickly ditches six-year-old Emmy (Remy Marthaller) in favour of a pack of unruly teens and their accompanying temptations. Abandoned and adrift, the introverted Emmy grows fixated with an eerie cave and convinced that her late grandmother has been conjured as an unseen ghost.
Drawing from her own childhood experiences, writer-director Meredith Hama-Brown demonstrates a profound talent for eliciting unspeakably nuanced, frequently heartbreaking performances from Breitkreuz and Marthaller. Likewise, she deftly investigates the unique tensions of Judith and Steve’s interracial marriage (including her infatuation with another man). All the while, Norm Li’s highly observant cinematography provides a practically mesmerizing degree of intimacy. A deftly orchestrated, deeply moving portrait of a family at the brink of implosion, Seagrass sees Hama-Brown exude compassion and conviction in an accomplished debut.
September 29 & October 1: Q&A with director Meredith Hama-Brown & crew
Series Media Partner
Sunday October 01
Norm Li, Sara Blake, Tyler Hagan, Kathleen Hepburn, Meredith Hama-Brown
Tyler Hagan, Sara Blake
Kane Stewart, Shun Ando
Meradith Hama-Brown is an actress, producer, and director. She is best known for her short Broke Bunny (2018), which won the Telus Sea to Sky Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival. With this short, she also won Best Narrative Film Award at Las Cruces International Film Festival and Best Film Award at the Future of Film Show. In 2020, Brown was selected for the TIFF Filmmaker Lab and was awarded the Canada Goose Fellowship for her first feature film, Seagrass (2023).
Filmography: Seagrass (2023)
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.