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VIFF: World Premiere of Jason Bourque’s BLACK FLY at Vancouver International Film Festival

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Sometimes You Shouldn’t Go Home.

Don’t leads Dakota Daulby and Matthew MacCaull look good clean and suited-up at Saturday night’s world premiere of director Jason Bourque’s bloody thriller Black Fly? No gore. No blood. Unlike their characters in this 100% BC film. Touted as Canada’s Winter Bone, Black Fly is about a troubled teen Jake Henson (Daulby), haunted by the death of his parents – the father seemingly in a hunting accident and mother by suicide. Jake escapes an abusive uncle in Pitt Meadows to reconnect with his older brother Noel (MacCaull), living with his girlfriend (Christie Burke) in the family farmhouse on isolated Denman Island on the BC coast. The drama unfolds as it becomes clear that Jake has gone from bad to worse, since Noel is a heavy drinker with a hair-trigger temper and there’s no escape from his killing rampage.

Related: Dakota Daulby on Falling Skies, Black Fly and Sitting on the Edge of Marlene.


Photo credit: Chris Helcermanas-Benge.

Jason Bourque told the sold-out crowd that the film was not inspired by his own family — his Mom and Dad sat in the audience — but by the “Garbage Bag Murders” down the road in rural New Brunswick where he grew up. The Vancouver Film School grad and his director of photography Todd Williams shot Black Fly in fourteen days of “rain and snow” last February on location in  Pitt Meadows, under the Georgia/Dunsmuir Viaducts and on Denman Island. Despite the extreme violence of the subject matter it proved to be a “pretty happy set” with McCaull doing lots of pushups to “get those guns” and rocking to heavy metal band Iron Maiden to get in character as a killer. And for the big emotional scenes with his brother, McCaull says he chilled out listening to Dixie Chicks.

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Somehow — despite everything — there’s a likability about Noel’s serial killer. Writer-director Bourque was gratified to hear the audience laugh at certain points when he hoped they would. Still, there’s an inevitability to Noel’s story. What did it take to become such an assole? someone asked McCaull at the RIO Theatre screening.

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You can catch Black Fly at a second screening on September 30th at 4 p.m.  in the International Village #10.

VIFF Repeats: VIFF added a third screening.

Sunday, October 12th, at 4 p.m. in The Cinematheque.

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