Her debut feature Bleed With Me — selected as part of Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program — had its world premiere at the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival. Her second feature, the recently released Bloodthirsty, offers a new twist on the werewolf genre with its queer female werewolf.
“I explore female anxieties through a horror lens,” says Moses.
How would you describe your Bleed With Me journey?
When I finished film school at Concordia in 2016, I wanted to make a feature as quickly as possible to keep the momentum. I’d heard about Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program and knew it wasn’t going to be a lot of money, but it was going to be more money than I had seen before. I applied for the grant in 2017, didn’t get it, then reapplied in 2018 and got it. In retrospect I’m glad I didn't get it the first time around because I had more time to develop a better film. We filmed the movie in January and February 2019.
What was it like to premiere Bleed With Me at Fantasia during the COVID-19 pandemic?
When we got in, I was incredibly excited. I’m a long-time fan of Fantasia — the festival felt like a good place for our film to premiere. Then a couple months later I realized that the festival would go online with the pandemic and, of course, that was 100 per cent the right decision for the festival and the city.
It was also a really big blow, because it’s my first film and it was the world premiere. As a filmmaker, you want to be in that dark room with the audience. As time went on, however, the feedback from viewers has been really positive. It also helped with new opportunities: we signed with Canadian distributor Raven Banner Entertainment and U.S. distributor Epic Pictures Releasing.
Was it more difficult to break into the film business as a woman?
Growing up I told myself, ‘I want to be a filmmaker.’ You don’t ever think about this gendered part of it. You’re just like, ‘This is what I want to do.’ Then I thought about the big filmmakers that I admired growing up — they were men: Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Anderson. And usually white men, too. I became more aware of the gendered aspect when I was in film school. I think lots of women do struggle with that, but I have been very fortunate.