nobody movie_Grace Dove’s directorial debut in the short film Kiri and The Girl

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Just when she thinks she’s going in one direction in her film and television career, she’s pulled in another.

Just when she thinks she’s going in one direction in her film and television career, she’s pulled in another.

Grace Dove, who grew up in Prince George, perhaps best known for starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the Oscar-winning film The Revenant, now makes her directorial debut with the hauntingly beautiful and visually stunning short film Kiri and The Girl, available now on On apple tv.

The film has just completed its festival run, earning placements at the St. John’s International Women’s Festival, the American Indian Film Festival SF, the San Diego International Film Festival and the Victoria Film Festival after debuting at the Vancouver International Film Fest last fall, and Dove said she was so proud of the film.

“People were always asking me if I’d be a director, suggesting that I start directing my own films, and I’ve always kind of laughed at the idea,” Dove said. “I didn’t think that was even an option.”

She’s always been an actress and that’s her chosen career, or so she thought, she added.

“There’s so much to learn in acting,” Dove said. “And I knew this was going to be my craft my whole life, so I never thought about moving away from acting, but I’ve been doing it in Vancouver for about a decade now and I was starting to feel like we were more indigenous.” Voices behind need camera and we needed more representation and proper representation so I think she sort of picked me and it was very obvious that this was the right thing even though I never planned it. It just felt like this was the time.”

Christopher Logan and Kiri Geen, two of the producers of the film Kiri and The Girl, approached Dove after the story was created and they had received a $100,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, Dove said .

“They were looking for an Indigenous director because the film is about a young Indigenous girl and they knew they needed that female perspective,” Dove said.

The directing experience taught Dove so much, she added.

“It’s also helped me in my acting career because you can just see how many moving parts there are and how many people it takes to lift something like that off the ground,” Dove said. “It’s been so much work, so many hours, especially during the time of Covid and just hours and hours and hours of Zoom with all these amazing people who are so dedicated to their craft and it was so much fun to create – I gave all input on the outfit little Kiri would wear to fight for this one house I absolutely loved designing shots with cinematographer Stirling Bancroft for the first time ever and learning what it really takes to make a movie.”

It taught her a lot about collaboration and how many people it takes to fully devote themselves to the production of a short film, she added.

“Because no one makes a short for anything other than our love of the craft,” Dove said.

Dove said the film opened doors for her, too.

“Everyone thinks I’m a director,” laughed Dove. “I show them this film and everyone is blown away. I think for all of us – for Chris and Kiri and Ken Shapkin – all producers – it’s an example of what we can do if someone gives us a chance, and now we’re planning a lot of features for the future.”

Is she done with acting or torn between two loves – old and new?

“I thought I’d throw my hat in acting,” laughed Dove. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m feeling drained and as soon as I thought maybe I’d retire and get behind the camera, I’ve booked two new shows this year and maybe working on a pilot, so it’s so funny – The Universe has his own plan for me and I hope to continue to create meaningful projects when it comes to representing my indigeneity, representing my roots and fighting for our voices – whether as an actor or director or both.”

Fans can watch Dove star in Bones of Crows this fall, a new five-part psychological drama and feature original directed by Marie Clements and commissioned by CBC/Radio-Canada in association with APTN.

Well aware of her position in the television and film industry, Dove always seeks to uplift Indigenous youth and support her hometown in any way she can.

“I’ve actually been offered to direct a feature film and it’s going to be huge and I’m planning on taking it up north and I might be there as soon as fall and if not maybe spring and my dreams can start making films in the up north and getting Prince George involved and I think there’s so much opportunity up there for places, for people, for the community, and I really just want to show young people that being in the film industry is a real job, and that there are so many opportunities, especially for Indigenous youth, to enter this industry.”

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