North·Photos

Suzanne Crocker chronicles life off-grid in Yukon

A Dawson City-made film has become an audience favourite at festivals across Canada. Now it's headed to the largest documentary festival in North America.

'There still is a longing in people for a simpler life,' Dawson City filmmaker says

A low-budget film made in the Yukon backwoods has pulled off a major coup — it's earned a coveted spot in the lineup of a high-profile festival in Toronto.

"All the Time in the World" will screen at Hot Docs next month. The festival bills itself as "North America's largest documentary film festival".

"It has always been a dream of mine," says Dawson City's Suzanne Crocker, who directed and produced the film. She says she was surprised to make the cut. "It's definitely not easy to get into HotDocs."

"All the Time in the World" chronicles nine months Crocker spent living in a small off-the-grid cabin in the Yukon bush, with her husband and their three young children. They left their clocks and watches behind, with the aim of "reconnecting" with their environment, and each other. They faced deadly cold temperatures, long dark nights, and a menacing bear. At the end of nine months, they head back to town reluctantly.  

The film premiered last fall at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Since then, it has screened at several other festivals across North America, winning several audience choice awards along the way.

But Crocker says getting into Hot Docs is a special honour — one of her "Academy Award moments," she says, "these great, pinnacle moments when you've achieved something for the film that you maybe never dreamt was possible."  

Before HotDocs, the film will get a long-awaited screening in Dawson City, on April 2. Crocker says she's excited and proud to finally show her movie in her hometown. "Dawson City has been a huge part of making me a filmmaker," she says. "We were supported all the way.    

"You really have no idea when you finish a film if it's even going to get an audience," says Crocker. "I think in this age where life just seems to be getting crazier and more connected to technology, there still is a longing in people for a simpler life."

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