FAST HORSE follows the return of the Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition in a new form: the Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison RedCrow struggles to build a team with second-hand races and a new jockey, Cody BigTobacco to take on the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy at the Calgary Stampede.
Interview with Writer/Director Alexandra Lazarowich
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I made this film in partnership with my amazing producer Niobe Thompson. The film idea came from his television docu-series for CBC Equus Story of the Horse, he approached me and asked if I would be interested in directing a film about this Indian Relay time. I immediately said yes because I had grown up with Indian Relay in my community in Northern Alberta. I was inspired by Allison and these young men who devote their lives to this sport and to their horses. As an indigenous filmmaker I think I am always looking to tell stories that inspire indigenous people and youth. In 2019 we need stories about indigenous people that are not about despair, and sadness - don't get me wrong those stories also need to be told - but they need to be in balance with modern, fun, positive, indigenous people living and thriving in the present. At a time when things seem really dark I am inspired by Hayao Miyazaki who said, "I'm not going to make movies that tell children, 'You should despair and run away", and so we made this film that creates a space for indigenous heroes.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
You should watch FAST HORSE to go on a wild ride!
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The universal themes in this film are about hard work, passion and sportsmanship. This is not a classic sports documentary, these young men's attitude is not about individual teams winning but about what you learn from the experience, about how you help others even though you compete against them in the ring.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
Without the talent, passion and hard work of our editor Sarah Taylor the film went through many ideas. We edited as we filmed, and we never knew where the story was ultimately going to go. Through the process of many edits, and many late nights we were able to create a film that hopefully shows the intensity of the sport, the love of these horses and the hope for the future for these young men.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The film is currently on tour with the Banff World Film Festival around the world, and the film resonates with audiences in unexpected ways.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We are trying to get more people to view the film, and experience this unique and challenging sport.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We are looking for distributors, and journalists to amplify the film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
For non-indigenous audiences we want people to see our stories as modern. We are still here, we are thriving, we are strong and we ride fast horses.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What does indigenous cinema look like in the future?
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Alexandra Lazarowich is currently working on her first narrative feature, a romantic comedy: 2 Funerals a Round Dance and a Wedding.
Interview: January 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
FAST HORSE follows the return of the Blackfoot bareback horseracing tradition in a new form: the Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison RedCrow struggles to build a team with second-hand races and a new jockey, Cody BigTobacco to take on the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy at the Calgary Stampede.
Director: Alexandra Lazarowich
Producer: Niobe Thompson
Writer: Alexandra Lazarowich
About the writer, director and producer:
ALEXANDRA LAZAROWICH is a Cree Producer, Director and Screenwriter whose work has premiered at film festivals around the world. She is passionate about telling indigenous stories.
Producer NIOBE THOMPSON is well known in Canada and abroad for his visually arresting and playfully intelligent science and nature, human-interest, and environmental documentaries. Raised in the northern Alberta Cree community of Wabasca, Niobe is the founder of Edmonton production company Handful of Films.
Key cast: Allison Red Crow, Cody Big Tobacco
Looking for: distributors
Facebook: Fast Horse film
Funders: CBC Docs
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month?
Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival