Nfld. & Labrador

Filmmaker Justin Oakey making waves with 'Flankers' short film

A Newfoundland and Labrador filmmaker is promoting his award-winning short film by posting it for free online, and is getting a great response from critics and fans alike.
Justin Oakey's film Flankers is about feuding fishermen forced to set aside their differences when a storm hits a rural Newfoundland community. (Submitted by Justin Oakey)

A Newfoundland and Labrador filmmaker is promoting his award-winning short film by posting it for free online, and is getting a great response from critics and fans alike.

Justin Oakey's newest film Flankers is about feuding fishermen forced to set aside their differences when a storm his their rural Newfoundland community.

It features Newfoundland-born actor Joel Thomas Hynes in the lead role and was filmed on location in the province's Ochre Pit Cove and Northern Bay.

"It started with stories my grandmother was telling me," he told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

"Eventually it became something completely different than the original story, but I think it became something much more natural."

Flanker was filmed on location in Newfoundland's Conception Bay area. (Justin Oakey)

After bringing the film around to different film festivals, Oakey decided to post it online on the video streaming site Vimeo. It quickly got over 40,000 views once VImeo featured it on the "staff picks" section of the site.

"Two weeks after we put it up we got the staff pick, so we were a little surprised," he said.

"You get more views online than you would ever get at a film festival. It's just nice to see that so many people saw what we did, that little story up the north shore somewhere."

Upcoming feature film to be shot in Newfoundland

Oakey currently lives in Ontario but plans on moving back to Newfoundland soon to start work on a full-length film.

"I spend all of my free time in Newfoundland anyway so I might as well live here," he said.

The themes of the film, to be shot in the Riverhead and Harbour Grace area, will be similar to those of Flankers, albeit more fleshed out and with more controversial story lines.

"I plan on digging into the issues of religious feuding in the communities in Newfoundland," he said.

"I read a lot about it in a historic sense so I've been dying to do something along those lines."

Watch Flankers in its entirety in the Vimeo video player below:

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