True North | True North
When circumstances conspire to leave Louise (Louise Portal), an established Quebec painter, and Ahmed (Ahmed Muslimani), an aspiring Lebanese-Canadian actor, sharing a remote lake house, the tension rarely abates. Understandably, Louise resents her solitude being trespassed on, particularly by someone whose backstory is hardly airtight. The fact he initially mistakes her for his friend’s grandmother also gets them off to a rocky start. Meanwhile, Ahmed seems perpetually bathed in flop sweat and frequently on the brink of an anxiety attack as he prepares for what could be a breakout role.
In his debut feature, UBC grad David Findlay crafts an impressively calibrated, immaculately choreographed chamber drama that’s lent a combustible air due to the emotional volatility of these complementary creatives. Despite rarely venturing past the property line, Findlay’s film finds rich thematic territory to explore. Lensed with assurance by cinematographer Blake Davey (who shot last year’s VIFF award-winning short Rupture, which was produced by Findlay), Everything Outside creates an air of exquisite intimacy as we watch a bond develop between this pair through instances of genuine humour and mutual respect for one another’s artistic practices. The delicacy of Findlay’s direction only heightens the sense that the world these two fashion together can’t possibly last.