Canadian Indie Film Thrives Amid Hollywood Strike Fallout


An independent film being produced on Vancouver Island is seeing the light of day due to dual strikes affecting unionized actors and writers in the United States. The unique circumstance presents a favorable opportunity for projects outside of the Hollywood mainstream.

“Now or never,” declares director David Bercovici-Artieda, a Metchosin-based filmmaker who has spent numerous years cultivating connections with fellow Canadian artists. For him, these professionals have evolved into an extended family. Since many of them are currently not engaged in higher budget projects due to the southern strikes, a window has opened for the progression of non-profit ventures such as his own, tapping into a talent pool that is not currently picketing.

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“As bigger productions hit pause, the artists, now freed from scheduling constraints, focus on creation,” he asserts.

Bercovici-Artieda is on the cusp of starting production on an endeavor in Victoria, intending to breathe life into a longstanding dream. Drawing from his Jewish father – a Holocaust survivor – he plans to weave a narrative of compassion into a short film titled ‘The Fast Runner’.

He posits, “Our role as artists entails responsibility. Through this film, we aim to contribute to the dialogue of hope, forgiveness and the love that we all require in the current global landscape.”

The project boasts a screenplay, penned by a close friend of Bercovici-Artieda, that has already caught attention and acclaim with a string of awards and nominations. The tale centers around a young girl grappling with her own anger and the injustice inflicted upon her community, explains The Fast Runner scriptwriter, Michael Adams.

Anticipation is high for the upcoming 28th of September, when cameras begin rolling, transforming Victoria’s Waddington Alley into a ghetto scene and the Roundhouse into a representation of a concentration camp.

Adams expounds upon his role in the film, “My task, as the scriptwriter and thus, the interpreter of David’s poignant narrative, was to unmask the crux of its humanity and the inherent compassion in the lessons imbued by his father.”

‘The Fast Runner’ is financed entirely through donations. However, Bercovici-Artieda believes that the realm of Canadian arts necessitates greater support.

“We scrutinize societal events. We narrate tales of hope. Our work has the potential to sway public opinion, both positively and negatively. The current state of global affairs is distressing and our role as artists is pivotal,” he intones.