Martha Brook Falls || Ashley McKenzie || 6 min.

In a northern valley of Cape Breton, a camera is relinquished into a remote riverbed. It travels underwater and is enveloped by current, cascading toward an 80-foot waterfall. Water pulses over its surface, forming a mass of microscopic lenses that concentrate the world around; an environment fluidly impressing its mark. In between this rush downstream and a final repose, the precipice of Martha Brook Falls is breached.

Director Statement

"After a decade of working closely with human subjects, and immersing myself in social environments, I yearned for a momentary reprieve. I spent a summer hiking to remote waterfalls, giving myself permission to divest from human influence and my authorial tendencies. At each falls, I found something liquid, a sequencing process that ran pure and definitive. Martha Brook Falls is a submission to this refractory nature of a waterscape; and underneath, a murmur on that inescapable aspect of artistic endeavour."

Martha Brook Falls  filmmaker Ashley McKenzie

Martha Brook Falls filmmaker Ashley McKenzie

Ashley McKenzie lives on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Her debut feature, Werewolf, is the latest winner of the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award and screened at TIFF (‘16) and the Berlinale (‘17). Her short-film work includes Rhonda’s Party (‘10), When You Sleep (‘12), Stray (‘13), and 4 Quarters (‘15). She formed grassfire films with lifelong friend and producer, Nelson MacDonald, in order to bring personal dramas from their own slice of the world to international audiences. McKenzie is a recent recipient of the Jay Scott Prize, which recognizes an emerging talent who is positively affecting the direction of Canadian cinema.

Martha Brook Falls is part of  Atlantic Auteurs Program One at HIFF 2018.


$12 @ the door | $10 advance/student/senior/unwaged