Sleeping Giant Comes Full Circle


It has been a truly remarkable journey for this Canadian film from its premiere at Cannes to its subsequent appearance at over 40 film festivals around the world.

“Sleeping Giant”, the 2015 Canadian film, directed by Andrew Cividino, screened at the International Critics’ Week section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and went on to win the award for Best Canadian First Feature Film at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and our very own Vancouver International Film Festival award for Best Canadian Film. At the 4th Canadian Screen Awards in 2016, the film received four nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Editing. Serene won the award for Best Supporting Actor.

We’ve all followed the journey of this film closely and we’ve been excited and immensely proud to watch it come full circle as it screened across Canada to rave reviews this past month. The Toronto Sun called this “stunning debut” a “towering achievement” while the Star called it the “Best Canadian film of the year” and that’s seriously the tip of the iceberg.  Here’s a look at some of the many strong reviews for the film including an insightful interview with Director Andrew Cividino from Too Indie Mag.



SYNOPSIS: Andrew Cividino’s remarkable debut is a story of friendship, confusion, betrayal and peer pressure. Meek 14-year-old Adam (Jackson Martin) is enduring a dull summer in a small Lake Superior beach community when he meets local boys Nate (Nick Serino) and Riley (Reece Moffett), combative first cousins who pass their ample free time roughhousing and crafting crass putdowns. An indiscretion by Adam’s father drives him to spend more time in the cousins’ company, offering them ample opportunity to rain down verbal abuse. As Adam recognizes that he needs to assert his masculinity, his thoughts turn to Todd’s Cliff, the monolithic land formation towering nearby and named in honour of the dumbass who leapt from it and lived to tell the tale of the 100-foot drop…


“I was really surprised by the international response to the film. I always felt that the location for the film was incredibly beautiful but worried that was always just because of my personal bias towards it. I was really surprised to see how much the setting seemed to speak to people strongly when the film premiered internationally, and it how seemed exotic to them in a way. The colloquialisms, the way the boys speak in the film is so regional in a way that I wondered if that could have ever registered internationally, and I couldn’t believe it fully could. So I’m really curious to bring the film home. I hope that it rings true to people. I hope that it’s more than nostalgia too, I hope that the story connects. I’m curious and a little bit anxious to see how it goes over at home because, for us, this is the home crowd. I’m hopeful and a little bit scared.” Andrew Cividino [Laughs]

Full interview:



“The result is indeed a love letter to a time of life and a place in the north. Small wonder Sleeping Giant was warmly received at last year’s Cannes film festival, won the best Canadian first feature at the Toronto festival, and was a runner-up for the Toronto Film Critics Association prize for best Canadian film of 2015. But with summer around the corner, there’s no better time and place to watch it than here and now.”

Full review:


The title of Sleeping Giant is an apt one, being suggestive of something mythical and awe-inducing, yet also a dormant threat that must be regarded with great care if you don’t want to get crushed. The image suits the film’s attitude toward its setting, which elicits an equal measure of wonder, exhilaration, and dread. The last of these builds inexorably as Cividino works hard to exploit the many possibilities of this place, tracking his young characters through a series of vividly rendered exteriors (the forest, the beach, the cliffs, the country highway) and more fraught interiors (a sauna, a video arcade, the cottages of the wealthier summer visitors, and the smaller and often crummier shacks and trailers where the townies live, work, and party).

Full review:


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