The New Hollywood North: Danis Goulet

The New Hollywood North: Danis Goulet

The Night Raiders director on her big break, her favourite films and what movie she’d make with $1 billion

Known for: Night Raiders, an Indigenous sci-fi thriller

First filmmaking experience: “In 2003, I went down to New York and shot a black-and-white short film called Spin. It was about a DJ in a cool indie music store who is too afraid to buy the record he truly wants because of how it’ll make him look.”

Why you decided to become a director: “I was working in casting on a US TV pilot, and the only roles written for Native actresses were Pocahontas-type characters. I thought, Somebody needs to do a better job telling our stories.”

Your big break: “Getting the funding for Night Raiders. It was the first long-form script I had ever written.”

Something every young director should know: “Surround yourself with like-minded people.”

Desert island movie:The Matrix. I love stories of uprising and rebellion, especially against all-encompassing forces.”

Movie you’ve watched the most times:Children of Men. It’s the pinnacle of science-fiction films.”

Favourite director: “Alanis Obomsawin. She’s the grandmother of Indigenous film.”

Hollywood star you most want to work with: “Daniel Kaluuya. I think he’s a stellar actor and an absolute chameleon in every role that he does.”

Most memorable celebrity interaction: “George Clooney held the door for me at the Windsor Arms during TIFF in 2001. He was a total gentleman.”

Favourite cinema snack: “Popcorn. It’s got that nostalgia factor—I’ve associated popcorn with movie theatres ever since I was a kid.”

Toughest part about directing: “Making the actors feel comfortable on camera.”

One simple fix that would improve the film industry in Canada: “Putting more underrepresented voices on screen and in positions of power.”

Someone gives you a $1-billion budget. What movie do you make? “An Indigenous Dune.”

Would you rather win an Oscar for best director or direct the highest grossing film of all time? “I guess win an Oscar. But, if I were going to receive a bunch of money for directing a high-grossing film, it would be impossible to turn down.”

Your next project:Ivy. It’s a Netflix thriller about a smart home that turns on a family.”

The New Hollywood North