Principal Photography Begins for new Feature Film by Co-Directors Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers & Kathleen Hepburn

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, a new feature film co-written and co-directed by award-winning filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn, begins principal photography in Vancouver, Canada. Canadian Screen Award winning Tailfeathers will co-star alongside newcomer Violet Nelson, in her debut acting role.

Marking the feature-length directorial debut for Tailfeathers, who was awarded the Sundance Institute’s 2018 Merata Mita Fellowship, the film is inspired by a very real and transformative moment in her life. The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open weaves an intricately complex, while at the same time very simple, story of a chance encounter between two Indigenous women with drastically different lived experience, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse.

Her co-writer and co-director, Hepburn, whose first feature Never Steady, Never Still (2017) premiered at TIFF and was recently nominated for 8 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Film, Best Director. Norm Li, who was nominated for Best Cinematography for Never Steady, Never Still, has also come on board as Director of Photography and will be shooting The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open on 16mm film.

In concert with the production, TELUS STORYHIVE has provided support to launch an Indigenous Youth Mentorship program which will see eleven Indigenous youth, ages 16–28, working with key creatives through all departments to gain creative and practical filmmaking experience.

One of the youth mentees, Jade Baxter from the Nlaka’pamux Nation, whose short films that have played at festivals such as imagineNATIVE and RIDM, will be working closely with both co-directors Tailfeathers and Hepburn to learn the ropes of directing a feature film.

A Canada-Norway co-production, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open is produced by Tyler Hagan of Experimental Forest Films, Lori Lozinski of Violator Films, and Alan R. Milligan of  Tannhauser Gate and Film Farms. The feature is funded by Telefilm’s new Indigenous Screen Office, CBC’s Breaking Barriers Film Fund, and the Norwegian Film Institute.


About Violator Films

Violator Films Inc. is a Vancouver-based independent production company that has been telling maverick stories since 2007. Owned and operated by Lori Lozinski, Violator Films is recognized for producing socially-conscious, high-quality, character-driven stories with emerging female creatives.

About Experimental Forest Films

Experimental Forest is the collaborative home of film and video works by Kathleen Hepburn and Tyler Hagan. Their first feature film NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL premiered at TIFF 2017 and was nominated for 8 Canadian Screen Awards.  Working through cinema to tell stories firmly rooted in their environment, Experimental Forest is a namesake and a reminder. It represents our connection to the land and a history of the place we call home. Projects include Never Steady, Never Still and Similkameen Crossroads (NFB Interactive). 

About Film Farms

Film Farms is a Norway-based production company focused on development and co-production of international projects with some of the most exciting talents in filmmaking today. Titles include Rams (co-production IS/DK/NO) directed by Grímur Hákonarson won Un Certain Regard prize in 2015, and Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere (2014) which was screened at TIFF.


STORYHIVE offers production grants, career training and distribution opportunities for filmmakers, musicians, storytellers and creators in BC and Alberta. 

About Telefilm Canada

Celebrating 50 years in 2017, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund. Launched in 2013, the Talent Fund accepts private donations to principally support emerging talent.

About CBC’s Breaking Barriers Film Fund

CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund helps finance English-language feature film projects that are written or directed by Canadian women, Indigenous persons, visible minorities and persons with a disability who have had at least one feature-length film showcased at a recognized film festival. Unlike other funds targeted towards emerging talent, CBC’s fund is geared towards underrepresented Canadian creators. The Fund complements CBC’s existing and continued commitment to Canadian film, including licensing more than 50 Canadian feature films since 2014.

About the Norwegian Film Institute

The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) is the Norwegian government administrative body for the film sector and advisor on film policy issues. NFI support audiovisual development, production, coproductions and marketing. It also offers grants, training and talent development for the film industry.

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