Stray

A meek nine-year old girl struggles to find an object for her tenderness inside the confines of a hard-nosed home environment and post-industrial town.

Creative team

Writer/director: Ashley McKenzie
Writer/producer: Nelson MacDonald

Filmmaker’s statement

Stray draws heavily on the textures of my childhood, especially what it felt like growing up among the industrial landscape of Cape Breton. I was a hyper-sensitive kid, often obsessing over feral cats, and those emotions never felt organic in that landscape.

The character of Savannah was developed as a specimen of this sort of sensibility. I approached the story as a conceptual study of her movements and repose within a harsh environment.

About Ashley McKenzie

Ashley McKenzie

Ashley McKenzie is an emerging filmmaker from Cape Breton Island, Canada.

Her directorial debut, Rhonda’s Party, was named one of Canada’s Top Ten Shorts by TIFF in 2011 and won CBC’s Short Film Face Off.

When You Sleep, her second short, premiered at TIFF and was one of 16 shorts worldwide selected in competition at the Stockholm International Film Festival. When You Sleep was showcased in Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program at Cannes and earned the best emerging director award at the Atlantic Film Festival.

Ashley is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab and runs Grassfire Films with longtime collaborator Nelson MacDonald.

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