As Bretten Hannam reveals in his director’s notes, WILDFIRE is a story drawn from personal experience, re-imagined and turned on its head. On the surface the story is very much an adventure—three boys travelling the back roads on a quest. In reality, it’s a very personal story of reconnecting to heritage and coming to terms with two-spirit identity.
Since Nova Scotia doesn’t have any Indigenous teenage actors in ACTRA (the professional actors union). Bretten and Gharrett set out on a grassroots journey to find their two leads. Over 2 weeks they traveled to various reserves and communities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and auditioned over 50 Mi’kmaq teenagers, become the largest casting search ever, for Indigenous talent on the east coast on Canada.
The BFI Flare LGBTQ+ Film Festival is the biggest LGBTQ+ film festival in Europe and running for over 30 years. Wildfire is programmed in CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, a selection of ‘bold shorts showing the courage, intelligence and heart of those who have found a way to rise above their circumstances’.
Wildfire is a part of Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent program, and was one of ten short films in Canada selected for Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent showcase at the 2019 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Not Short on Talent is a Telefilm Canada initiative that presents a selection of new Canadian short films at international markets.