Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
It seems only fitting that Alexander Lasheras’ latest film is about an alien invasion.
The Métis filmmaker/director is promoting screenings of his latest work, a sci-fi thriller titled THE BEEHIVE, which will have its first of three showings at Toronto’s Revue Cinema on Nov. 24. The theatre will also screen the film on Nov. 25 and Nov. 27.
THE BEEHIVE is a story about comets that explode above a family farm, where a widowed father and his two children live. Following this unexplained explosion, the daughter finds a nest growing on a tree.
Aliens eventually emerge from the nest. Humans who come in contact with these aliens come to catastrophic ends.
Lasheras, who is 37, said he came up with the concept for THE BEEHIVE many years ago. He grew up on a farm in Langley, B.C.
“We were lucky enough to have a bunch of land there and I grew up on the land,” he said. “As natural as it is, nature can be sometimes kind of far out.
“So, I just remember growing up and we’d chop wood or something, and there would be weird worms in the wood.”
Lasheras also recalled going to the pond on his family land and seeing dragonfly exoskeletons.
“When I was a kid there was something very alien-like about them,” he said. “As a kid I honestly thought we were getting invaded by aliens. And I was starting to freak out. Now you would probably just do a Google search and you would see all these things. With the Internet now, it’s sort of all out there.”
Lasheras had hoped to make THE BEEHIVE many years ago. But a lack of funding prevented him, so the film was shelved for a while.
Instead, his debut feature film titled Cadence came out in 2016. This movie is about a young woman who experiences hallucinations during a getaway with her boyfriend.
Cadence won the Audience Award at the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival.
As for THE BEEHIVE, it premiered at the Arizona International Film Festival this past April. The film had its Canadian premiere at a drive-in in Oakville, Ont. on National Indigenous Day in June.
Various Indigenous groups came out for that screening. And Meadow Kingfisher, the actor who plays the daughter in the film, danced a jig.
“That was a really special day,” Lasheras said.
THE BEEHIVE was also shown at the American Indian Film Festival earlier this month in San Francisco. And next month it will be screened at the 15th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Fest in Malaysia.
“I’m grateful and thankful any time it gets screened in a theatre with people,” Lasheras said. “Now we’re all just streaming. I think people are just maybe losing the patience to go out to the theatre. I so appreciate when somebody comes out to the movies, especially for your movie when it is an indie film.”
Lasheras said the film’s response on the festival circuit has been positive. At times he’s found himself doing a mad dash during screenings.
“I just wanted it to get turned up louder,” he said, adding suspenseful music has more of an impact when it is louder. “I was running up a few times to the booth to tell the guy running it to turn it up louder. It really makes a difference.”
Lasheras said THE BEEHIVE is not simply a movie about an alien invasion.
“It’s in the background, but there are themes about how we relate to our world, how we treat our world, how we treat each other, how we treat other species,” he said. “I think there’s a thread of how we treat other species in there that maybe on some subconscious level people take away.
“I’m not a vegan but I do think the way we treat other species on the planet could really be looked at. And I guess I put the question, if another species came here to earth and they looked at how we treated other species, would we be able to justify our existence? I don’t think we’re necessarily better than a bird or what makes us better than another animal. But we do walk around this earth thinking that we are the dominant species.”
Tickets for the Toronto screenings can be purchased here
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