Langley school’s film program set course for award-winning director

Langley school’s film program set course for award-winning director

A man raised in Langley will have his feature film screened at Langley’s International Film Festival.

Wayne Wapeemukwa films have been screened, and lauded at international film festivals in Toronto, Los Cabos and Vancouver.

But the 27-year-old is looking forward to his feature film, Luk’Luk’I, being shown at the Langley International Film Festival.

Luk’Luk’I is an unflinching look at the social impact of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics on residents in the nation’s poorest postal code, and is on the bill for the third local film festival that benefits the Langley School District Foundation.

“I think I might prefer showcasing my work in my hometown,” Wapeemukwa said. “The bigger festivals come with more strings attached and far more pressure. My film was always intended to be a work of social justice, so having the opportunity to use it as a fundraiser makes me really happy.”

Luk’Luk’I is the Native name for the swampy area that is now the Downtown Eastside. Wapeemukwa’s film is a dark, stylized look at the legacy of colonialism set against the backdrop of the Vancouver Olympics and the squeaky clean image presented to the world.

The movie tells the stories of people in the area of ‘Wastings and Pain’, the nickname for the intersection of Hastings and Main.

Proceeds from Langley’s film festival, which runs Feb. 16 to 18, will go to help other aspiring filmmakers learn the craft.

Wapeemukwa benefited from one of those programs.

“At Brookswood I had an amazing film teacher named Carl Hofbauer who introduced myself, along with many other talented students who I collaborate with to this day, to filmmaking. From Brookswood I taught myself and gained more experience on set and for a brief time in film school,” he explained.

In his case, he’s the first to admit Brookswood Secondary having a film program set his course in life.

“My high school film program is the only reason why I ever decided to become a filmmaker; perhaps it was even the only thing that ever motivated my decision to do anything! The studio was for me, like a lot of students, a second home,” Wapeemukwa said.

He grew up “down by Glenwood Elementary on a plot of land that was originally my paternal grandparents’” and while the family is no longer on the property, he enjoyed growing up on a sheep farm in rural Langley.

“In my high school I set most of my films in Langley, mostly because I didn’t have a car to go elsewhere,” he said. “While Langley has always been my home, I was also aware of an entire subculture of teenagers which did not correspond in anyway to the values solicited by the older generation. This contrast, or conflict, was always something I thought unique about where I grew up.”

In addition to his film making being impacted by his formative years spent in Langley, it was informed by his family heritage as Metis.

“I like cinema’s capacity to challenge reality and also at the same time reflect back a reflection of ourselves that may indeed showcase just how unrecognizable our self-images often are,” he said.

Wapeemukwa currently lives in London, UK, working in an elementary school before continuing his doctoral studies.

Under his belt, he has Luk’Luk’I, which has garnered best Canadian first feature film at TIFF, a Directors’ Guild of Canada Discovery Award and best B.C. film at VIFF. There is also the short film of the same name that inspired the feature length film, and other award-winning short films (Foreclosure, Balmoral Hotel and Srorrim).

“I like cinema’s capacity to challenge reality and also at the same time reflect back a reflection of ourselves that may indeed showcase just how unrecognizable our self-images often are,” Wapeemukwa said.

Intimately linked with his filmmaking is his interest in philosophy.

“Philosophy was always a second interest of mine,” he said. “I grew into filmmaking at the same time as reading philosophers in high school such as Nietzsche, Sartre and especially Camus – many of my first film ideas came from these writings so for me, at least, the two are inseparable.”

There will be plenty for audiences to mull over at this year’s Langley International Film Festival which is held at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley.

Friday, February 16- 7:00 p.m. Cadillac Tramps: Director, producer and actor in attendance at screening and after party at lelems art and cultural cafe. Enjoy the film, then meet the cast and crew.

Saturday, February 17 – noon Student Montage of Films: Feisty and outspoken; electrifying and subdued; versatile and abstract; deep, fantastic and real – these are the films that are emerging today to become the masterpieces of tomorrow. Adjudicated by film experts, the students present their films and receive the feedback. The judges are ruthless, but the students can take it.

Saturday, February 17 -3:30 p.m. Luk’Luk’I: Watch as the cream of the crop collide with the salt of the earth in Luk Luki’l. Directed by Wayne Wapeemukwa, a Langley School District Brookswood Secondary graduate, the film is a sharp historical critique of what happens when greed rears its ugly head as it did in Vancouver in 2010. Wayne Wapeemukwa, who now resides in London, England will be interviewed via skype by his high school film teacher, Carl Hofbauer following the screening.

Saturday, February 17 – 7:00 pm Get Out: American horror/comedy film written and directed by Jordan Peele. It starts out as any unpretentious and approachable film might do with a lovable couple in a benign situation, but it soon twists into a disturbing, mysterious and intense atmosphere of horrific dysfunction.

Sunday, February 18 – 1:00 p.m. C’est la Vie: This is a must see for all French Immersion students and teachers. A sophisticated and delightful comedie with subtitles. Vous allez voir, c’est très amusant.

Sunday, February 18 – 3:30 p.m. Wonder: A sad but true story of a young boy struggling to survive in a world that refuses to accept the exceptional. Jacob Tremblay is brilliant as portrays the real-life Auggie Pullmane who has a rare medical facial deformity, which he refers to as “mandibulofacial dysostosis. Jacob Tremblay will be in attendance, as will his canine co-star Daisy who played Gidget in the film. Join them for the for a Q&A following the screening.

Fort Langley’s Mark Forsythe, author and former CBC radio host, serves as the festival emcee.

The cost is $10 per screening. The festival package is $50 for all screenings and the admission for the opening night after-party is $25.

• Buy TICKETS

Chief Sepass TheatreEducationJacob TremblayLangley International Film FestivalLangley School DistrictLangley School District FoundationLIFF

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Langley school’s film program set course for award-winning director

Just Posted

When Langley City resident Dale Attrell, 92, seen here walking in Douglas Park on Saturday, Jan. 10, started a walking club for seniors, it filled up quickly. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Outrunning COVID: a Langley City senior starts a walking club

When Dale Attrell launched a group for older people to go on walks together, it filled up quickly

Langley’s Jim Orlowski, a regular contributor to Through Your Lens, shared this picture of some bird swimming around in Brydon Lagoon. They were spotted while he was walking along the trail in the Nicomekl flood plains. They frequently cross paths with dozens of other walkers and park visitors enjoying the trail on a bright winter day. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Bird friends from Brydon

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Mark Chandler, outside of his extradition hearing at the Vancouver Supreme Court. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley condo builder’s fraud sentencing in U.S. delayed due to COVID-19

Mark Chandler’s own lawyer contracted COVID-19 in December

People have noticed pine siskins dying in the area, part of a trend of larger numbers of the finch flocking to the area about every five years. The larger numbers result in crowding and increased spread of salmonella. (Wikipedia photo)
Langley birdwatchers seeing dead finch species in higher numbers

Pine siskins are in the area in larger numbers. They are prone to salmonella which is fatal for them

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read