Favourite local filmmaker

1. Guy Maddin 

2. Rory Fallis 

3. Sonya Ballantyne 


A lot has happened for Winnipeg icon Guy Maddin since he was named Favourite Local Filmmaker in the 2014 edition of The Uniter 30. 

His newest feature The Forbidden Room (co-directed with Evan Johnson) has been released to critical acclaim, and the writer-director recently started a new teaching gig at Harvard University. 

“Next term I’m teaching some film studies classes I designed during my time at U of M,” Maddin says of his courses, The Cinema of Childhood and The Lyric Essay in Film. 

“I have fantastic filmmaking colleagues here, heroes of mine – Lucien Castaing- Taylor, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Philippe Grandrieux, and Ben Rivers.” 

“Everything is so new and bracing for me,” Maddin says of his Harvard experience. 

“I feel more like I’m attending Harvard than teaching at it. I love it. I’ve vowed to be the most collegial colleague in the history of the college. I go to every talk possible. That’s a lot of free wine and cheese, but also a lot of ideas packed, at least briefly, into my porous noggin. This place is also positively buggy with history and its ghosts.” 

Maddin is also excited to see the release of Seances, an interactive online film project that’s set for release in April. 

Like The Forbidden Room, Seances focuses on lost films. 

Each visit to the website will generate a new short film that will become “lost” after a single viewing, never to be seen again. 

“Our team is running on fumes to get it out,” Maddin says. “There’s never been anything like it, I promise. Please forgive the American-style boasting. I know Winnipeggers aren’t used to such hubris, but I’ve been living down here these last few months and can’t help it.” 

But Maddin isn’t letting distance keep his spirit away from his beloved hometown. 

“Instead of TV, I check out with great nostalgic pangs all the Manitoba live webcams I can find online,” Maddin says. “These sometimes unspeakably dull views really connect me heart-to-throbbing-heart with those I love back home.”

Published in Volume 70, Number 13 of The Uniter (December 3, 2015)

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