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shley is serving as an ambassador for TIFF’s “Share Her Journey” program, which seeks to help create gender parity in the film industry. Read her letter about the program here.

Ashley and I talk about her new film Werewolf, choices and addictions, modern existentialism, Albert Camus and about “paying attention.”

For more information about TIFF go here.



Blaise and Nessa are outcast methadone users in a small town that doesn’t offer an easy way out. Each day starts in a long lineup at the tiny pharmacy, then it’s door ­to­ door begging to cut grass for people who just want them to go away and die.

At dusk they push their rusty lawnmower up a steep hill and crash in a filthy camper at the edge of town. In this bleakness, Nessa plots an escape, while Blaise lingers closer and closer to relapse, arrest, hospitalization, or worse. Tethered to one another, their getaway dreams are kept on a very short leash.


Ashley McKenzie is an emerging writer­/director from Cape Breton Island, Canada. Her 2015 short 4 Quarters screened at TIFF, VIFF, Stockholm IFF, Festival du nouveau cinema, and won Best Short Film at the Atlantic Film Festival. With her previous work, Stray (’13), When You Sleep (’12), and Rhonda’s Party (’10).

Ashley has earned a spot on Canada’s Top Ten Shorts list by TIFF, been a three-­time recipient of the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award from the National Screen Institute of Canada, and won CBC’s Short Film Faceoff.

She is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab and co­-owner of grassfire films.

Werewolf is her first feature film.