Nic Kaneski has been making movies since – well, the summer.
Following a debut at the 2023 One Take Super 8, Kaneski wrote and directed their second short, Butch Bathroom Blues, as a student project through the Winnipeg Film Group. It screened at the University of Winnipeg Film Festival in October of 2023.
How did this budding filmmaker turn a student short into a fan-favourite in less than two months?
“I think predominantly it’s just been seen by my friends,” Kaneski, a U of W student who also works at Cinematheque, says. “I feel very loved and supported by them at this moment. I’m very grateful.”
Kaneski identifies as a queer DIY filmmaker, which informs their work.
“Being a women’s and gender-studies student, I’m thinking a lot about gender and our lived experiences and how space changed gender, but I think also being a queer trans person, it’s based off of my lived experiences,” he says.
Butch Bathroom Blues centres around a trans person entering a gender-neutral bathroom to change a pad, only to find there’s no trash bin in their stall. The story is based on a real moment Kaneski experienced while working at the Artspace building.
“It’s silly to go through the effort of changing the signs and demonstrating that form of inclusion but without fully thinking through the practical steps and implications to support that,” they say, confirming that the Artspace bathrooms still have no bins.
For Kaneski, the fun of making films is the communal experience. “Getting to work with other queer people, getting to collaborate and be in community as you’re making something is really exciting,” he says.
Although “a little shy” about the nomination, Kaneski is encouraged. “Being a first-time filmmaker and having people take to my film well, it feels silly. But it’s really cool.”
Published in Volume 78, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2023)