Jeff Barnaby (Canada)
Native Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby has been turning heads with his acclaimed short films for years so expectations were running quite high for his feature debut, Rhymes For Young Ghouls. He did not disappoint.
Though his work is very much rooted in his cultural experience Barnaby seems to have no interest whatsoever in speaking only to the native community or making social issue films. The issues seep through everywhere, sure, but only inasmuch as his characters rail against the circumstances they find themselves in. There's a bit of Cormac McCarthy in Barnaby and his scathing glare along with a wealth of experience distilled down into a pointed anger. Call Rhymes a protest film and you're not too far off and I just can't shake the feeling that we're still just scratching the surface where Barnaby is concerned. As good a debut as this is I still expect exponential growth over his next efforts.