Unnerving Feature Film ‘Once There Was a Winter’ set for world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival

The white-knuckle thriller, seen through a female lens, stars Kate Corbett, Teach Grant, Juan Riedinger, and Kris Demeanor

For immediate release: Vancouver, BC–Search Engine Films / Violator Films / Rodeo Queen Pictures are pleased to announce the feature film Once There Was a Winter will have its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival. The first showing of the edge-of-your-seat, finger nail-biting suspense film will take place on Sunday, October 1st at 9pm, at The Rio Theatre. It will also screen on Friday, October 6 at 4:30pm, at International Village. The anticipated thriller is written and directed by Ana Valine and produced by Lori Lozinski and Seanna McPherson. Starring Kate Corbett, Teach Grant, Juan Riedinger and Kris Demeanor, the film was shot in a remote location in Northern British Columbia.

Once There Was Winter is the story of the Canadian North’s unforgiving nature, amplified to chilling effect. This northern tale takes unseemly turns when a young woman, The Lady, played by Kate Corbett (Fargo, Good Witch, Lost Girl), working as a welder’s helper finds herself in over her head with three men: The Welder (portrayed by Teach Grant – Lucifer, Damnation, Altered Carbon), The Hunter (played by Juan Riedinger – The Romeo Section, Narcos, It Stains the Sands Red, Good Behavior) and The Plumber (played by Kris Demeanor – The Valley Below, Making Treaty 7, and The Irrelevant Show), in a secluded doublewide trailer. A guilty secret, a grudge between brothers and a hidden relationship are all revealed; muted at first, but more menacing as the night wears on. Wolves, booze, and guns fuel this psychological powder keg. Entangled in a web of unresolved family drama, she learns the hard way about surviving nature in the North.

Northern BC is a central character of its own in the film, with cast and crew flying in from Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and L.A. to shoot in the isolated location.

Once There Was a Winter twists the thriller and Western genres by locating the perspective in the female lead, in the midst of  a masculine world. This intention has been the creative force behind all technical and creative choices throughout the filmmaking process.  Lady has no name because the men in the story have no need to name her. To them, she is an object. But, the story is told through her eyes. When she first enters the trailer, she sees the three men, and the audience sees them, through her eyes.  The audience feels what she feels. To be seen and objectified by them. The threat of sexual violence permeates the story.

Told from her point of view, she is an object to the whim of men in this story. From a female director, these elements play themselves out very differently than we’ve come to expect.

This film was made with the explicit purpose of targeting a female audience, of addressing the notion of the female gaze, the role of, and construction of, genre in narrative, and creating a female subject to stir the discourse of the role of gender in cinema.

Amidst the festival success of Sitting on the Edge of Marlene, Writer/ Director Ana Valine wrote the first draft of Once There was a Winter in a creative maelstrom. Compelled to make a film that challenges genre, propels women’s cinema and expands the conversation of the female perspective, award-winning Producers Lori Lozinski, and Seanna McPherson were drawn to the project.


Other film crew credits include:

Director of Photography: Michael LeBlanc

Production Design: Grant Pearse

Editor: Ana Valine

Music Supervisor: Matthew Safran

Interviews with the cast and crew are available upon request.

For more information, interviews and photos please contact:

Lesley Diana | Lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca | 604-726-5575

The Promotion People

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