Kelvin Redvers’ latest film will screen at Toronto International Film Festival


Hay River’€™s Kelvin Redvers is presenting a short film at this year’s edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.
— photo courtesy of Kelvin Redvers

By the age of 17, he had already produced ‘Sheep’, ‘Dignity’, ‘Six’ and ‘The Paintrix’, among others, many of which starred his classmates and friends.His most recent film was shot in Vancouver.

Because of the subject matter of ‘The Dancing Cop’ – the relationship between First Nations and the police – Redvers thought of an original way to present the story to audiences in a more accessible manner: as a musical.

I want it to play out as an entertaining film,” he said. “I hope it’ll amuse and intrigue people. I made sure I was surrounded by amazingly talented people for the music aspect. A friend of mine wrote the lyrics and another composed the music.”

The seven-minute film will be shown three times at TIFF in two public screenings and an industry screening.

Redvers was in Montreal on a road trip in late July when he got the exciting call from a TIFF representative. He had to keep the news under wraps until the festival’s Aug. 8 news conference.

I was ecstatic,” he said. “I’ve had my eye on TIFF for years, wanting to be a part of it. To finally get that chance, to get a foot in the door is amazing. Not only is it good for my resume, but the networking opportunities at the festival are endless.”

The idea for the film originated in May 2011, and soon after he filled out a bravoFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) application for funding.

Last September, he found out he was awarded the funding and it took him four months to complete the entire project. 

On Thursday, he received even more promising news. ‘The Dancing Cop’ has been chosen to screen next month at the Oldenburg Film Festival in Germany. Unfortunately, that festival and TIFF overlap so Redvers isn’t sure whether he’ll make the trip overseas.

There is a huge amount of networking possibilities at TIFF,” he said. “You get to meet financers and distributors. So we’ll see if I’ll head over to Germany or not.”

Most of the year Redvers works as a producer/director on CTV First Story, an Aboriginal show on CTV BC. He won the Jack Webster Award for best in B.C. journalism for his work on the first episode he produced, ‘Black Blood’.

I’m really proud of that award because I get to work on stories that otherwise might not be told,” he said.

Redvers has various feature film ideas in his pocket. One of them would ideally take place in the North, but he will need to clear some obstacles first.

It’s tricky to convince someone to finance your film if it’s shot up North because there are no tax breaks for filmmakers in the NWT,” he explained. “Until they are able to catch up with the rest of Canada in that department, it would be very expensive to shoot a film up there.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Redvers’ production company, Crosscurrent Productions.

In 2003, he made a bold claim to a reporter, who was writing about a new film course offered at Diamond Jenness.

You’ll be watching my movies in 10 years,” Redvers said.

And he was right.

— by Myles Dolphin