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Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature: Special Jury Prize

Canada | 2012 | 106 minutes | Jason Buxton

An alienated teenager's online posturing threat ignites a firestorm of fear in a small community in this disturbing and perceptive look at how our media-fuelled, post- Columbine culture of fear can transform typical teen angst into intimations of murder. Ages 15+

May 31, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
8:30 PM Date has passed
June 2, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
11:00 AM Date has passed
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In the wake of the Columbine and Newtown shootings, Jason Buxton's debut feature offers a timely, cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked paranoia in the cyber-bullying age. Seeking to protect himself from a classmate, teen outcast Sean Randall (Connor Jessup) threatens him online and is almost immediately arrested. Certain that they have a Columbine-style killer on their hands, authorities place Sean in Waterville, one of the country's toughest youth prisons, as he awaits his trial. Frustrated by the bureaucratic delays of the court and the abuse suffered at the hands of fellow inmates, Sean agrees to take a plea deal in order to get released, but soon learns that the court of public opinion will not change its decision as quickly. Writer-director Buxton never cheapens the real-world stakes of his story by treating it simply like a generic thriller. Instead, he employs a chilling, incremental logic to show how one bad decision, coupled with a climate of fear, can lead to typical teen angst being misread as murderous intent. All the while, Jessup's subtle performance compliments Buxton's approach, showing Sean's growing maturation as he slowly discovers that the worst prisons are still the ones that we create for ourselves.

Director Biography
Jason Buxton was educated at Simon Fraser University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Blackbird is his first full-length feature film.

Sponsored in part by The Art Institute of Seattle

Director: Jason Buxton
Principal Cast: Connor Jessup, Alexia Fast, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov
Country: Canada
Year: 2012
Running Time: 106 minutes
Producer: Marc Almon, David Miller, Jason Buxton
Screenplay: Jason Buxton
Cinematographers: Stephanie Weber-Biron
Editors: Kimberlee McTaggart
Music: Asif Illyas, Shehab Illyas
Website: http://www.blackbirdthefilm.com
Awards: Toronto International Film Festival 2012 (Best Canadian First Feature Film); Vancouver International Film Festival 2012 (Best Canadian Feature Film); Atlantic Film Festival 2012 (Best Feature Film, Director, Screenwriter); Genie Awards (Claude Jutra Award); Sonoma Film Festival (Best World Feature)
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: English
Format: DCP
International Sales: Films Boutique
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