‘Teenagers were really paying attention’
Bleach won the Best Short Film - Fiction prize at Saskatchewan’s Yorkton Film Festival in 2022. It has screened at more than 20 festivals across the world, including Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia in Tokyo, REGARD Saguenay International Short Film Festival, and the International Young Audience Film Festival Ale Kino! in Poland.
Graham was thrilled to see young viewers captivated by his film. “Teenagers were chatting away, but then really paying attention to the serious stuff that was happening. I thought, ‘We did it!’” says Graham.
The director was also excited to cast Indigenous Quebec actor Jacob Whiteduck-Lavoie in the role of Damien. “He was certainly the best person for the role, but for me, the idea that Indigenous actors can be excellent outside of purely Indigenous-settler conflict films was important.”
Graham, who is president of the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative and works as a video editor on commercial projects in Montreal, is thankful for his years at Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, where he honed his skills but also deepened his knowledge of film culture.
“Professor Peter Rist introduced me and so many others to things like late silent cinema and contemporary Chinese cinema — and just opened up this world of movies to us!
“Young filmmakers develop their network of peers at Concordia. I'm still in contact with other graduates, like cinematographer Derek Branscombe [BFA 14]. Some of the first people I met — on the first day of school — are still good friends.”