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
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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)
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