Trickster is being praised for its gothic staging of an Indigenous coming to age story.
The Canadian television drama created by Tony Elliott and Michelle Latimer, who also directs the series, is adapted from Eden Robinson’s 2017 novel Son of a Trickster.
The gritty supernatural story is full of dark-humour and magical mystery that is leaving viewers on the edge of their seat. The series is an entirely Indigenous story with an Indigenous director and many Indigenous characters; even the musical score features Indigenous artists, including six time Grammy nominated group, Northern Cree, from Maskwacis, Alta.
At the Edmonton, Alta., Premiere for the first two episodes of Trickster on Oct. 7, 2020, the public were invited to come watch the story of the Trickster unfold with special performances by Northern Cree and a question and answer period following the screening with the show’s cast.
Included in attendance and in the Q&A period was Maskwacis Cree Nation member, Georgina Lightning. Lightning is a very successful Indigenous film director, screen writer and actress, and her latest role in Trickster only reiterates the local talent’s abilities to Canadian audiences.
“It’s been an amazing experience working on a show with such awesome young talent,” Georgina Lightning said when introducing the panel for Q&A.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson spoke following the screening as well.
“I just want to say first of all on behalf of the City of Edmonton how proud we are to be associated with you and with this talent, and these artists, and these creators, these technical experts. There is such a strong story and such a strong future for story telling,” said Iveson when addressing Lightning and her contribution to the show and Canadian film.
“The ancient stories, the stories of the trickster, and the current stories of the challenges of living on the reserve or living in the city as an Indigenous person and facing, encountering systemic racism still in our community; those are stories that must be told,” said Iveson.
The actors and author of the novel the show is based off, Robinson, spoke about the experience of filming a show that held so much significance to Indigenous culture and really connected audiences to Indigenous characters.
The cast also gave advice for youth, Indigenous or not, looking to pursue a film career: take advice as corrections not criticism as it will; practice, practice, practice—put 10,000 hours into anything and you’ll be great at it; and don’t give up, keep reaching out and make yourself opportunities.
Kalani Queypo, who has a main role in the series, suggests that young actors, especially from rural areas such as Maskwacis or Wetaskiwin where there may not be as many opportunities to explore film and acting; should take advantage of the pandemic.
“Find your way to the internet, find your way to a computer, and most importantly find your way to your commitment, because then you’ll make it happen,” Queypo said. Right now with the pandemic, a lot more universities or programs are offering classes online through zoom and Queypo says that if you are serious about honing your craft and committing to acting or film, it is a great opportunity to take advantage of.
Trickster plays on CBC Wednesday nights at 9 p.m.