An interview with Wayne Wapeemukwa, Luk’Luk’I filmmaker

On January 25th, we will screen Wayne Wapeemukwa’s debut feature, Luk’Luk’I. Blending documentary and narrative storytelling, the film explores the lives of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents, set against the backdrop of the 2010 gold medal men’s hockey game at the Winter Olympics.

We asked Wayne a couple questions about the project in advance of the encore screening.

This was your first feature film and we understand the concept developed from your previous short films. What did you learn in the process of making Luk’Luk’I?

In the process of making Luk’Luk’I I learned many things (I even unlearned a few), but perhaps the most important lesson I’m taking away is how important it is to stay true to the community, stories and people on which my film is based. Collaborating and exchanging with my talented cast of community residents, non-actors and non-professional actors helped me remain committed to this truth.

VIFF’s description of Luk’Luk’I highlights that the film “shines an interrogation room lamp on the urban realities we’re often too eager to avert our eyes from.” This sentiment would resonate with any Vancouverite who has been to the Downtown Eastside. What message would you like to share with people who avert their eyes?

My film tells a story about Vancouver, and by extension, Canada, from the perspective of the Downtown Eastside. This neighbourhood is not exterior to Vancouver and Canada, but its absolute centre: Hastings and Main is where you’ll find the truth about Canada.

We hope you join us on January 25th for the event. Tickets are available here.