• FILM
  • BIO
A WAKE
Canada | 2010 | 1:33:11 | Narrative Feature
Directed by: Penelope Buitenhuis

In this intense drama, six former members of a well-known theatre company assemble for their infamous director's wake. Gabor Zazlov (NICHOLAS CAMPBELL) has died suddenly. His grieving French widow, Hanna (TARA NICODEMO), welcomes the thespians to her country house but soon loses control of the proceedings when old rivalries and jealousies erupt. As members of Gabor's last ill-fated production of Hamlet four years ago, the characters they played continue to haunt their lives. Tyler (GRAHAM ABBEY) who played Laertes then Hamlet, is now a minor Hollywood star and secretly in love with Maya (KRISTA SUTTON), the quiet, new-agey Ophelia. Raj (RAOUL BHANEJA), now a successful real-estate agent, is still resentful of losing the part of Hamlet to Tyler. However it is sexy, troubled Danielle (SARAIN BOYLAN), whose presence causes the most controversy. Sabina (MARTHA BURNS), the company's patron, demands to know why "this whore was invited" and the party erupts. The unexpected arrival of Gabor's loafer son Chad (KRISTOPHER TURNER), ratchets up the tension further. Traveling in Europe, he knew nothing of his father's passing and accuses his stepmother of killing him. Another Hamlet joins the fray.

Not quite forgotten in the chaos is Gabor's deathbed request to mount a final reading of Hamlet. When Hanna can't continue to lead the charge, Chad takes on the role of director, exacting shocking truths from the actors. As secrets are revealed, the players must come clean: To thine own self be true. With morning hangovers, they all leave altered by this tumultuous night. But there remains one last shocking truth that none would suspect.

CREW
Executive Producer: Ira Levy, Peter Williamson
Production Company Breakthrough Film and Television
Producer: Paul Scherzer
Co-producer: Penelope Buitenhuis
Line Producer:Mike Masters
Director: Penelope Buitenhuis
Story: Penelope Buitenhuis and Krista Sutton
Casting: John Buchan and Jason Knight
Cinematographer/DP: Francois Dagenais
Sound Recorder/Mixer: Sylvain Arsenault
Production Designer: Peter Cosco
Continuity: Dylaine Bovaird
Editor: James Bredin
Composer: Aaron Davis
Songs by: Lhasa , Danny Michele and Luc Ducet
Sound Designer: Nelson Ferreira
Post-production supervisor: Paul Ackerly

CAST
Nicholas Campbell, Tara Nicodemo, Martha Burns, Krista Sutton, Graham Abbey, Sarain Boylan, Kris Turner, Raoul Bhaneja, Paul Braunstein, Florence Walker

PENELOPE BUITENHUIS Born in Toronto, Penelope graduated from SFU film in 1984, becoming known as an underground filmmaker in Paris, then Berlin for ten years, making 15 shorts and touring worldwide. Her short Llaw, a diary of the fall of the Wall, launched her career.

After her first feature Trouble (1992) in Berlin she returned to Canada to direct Boulevard (1994), Dangerous Attraction (1999) and has directed ten movies for television, including the Gemini nominated CBC, Giant Mine. Her NFB documentary Tokyo Girls won two Geminis & two Leos. She has also directed many TV series. Buitenhuis co-wrote, co-produced and directed award winning A Wake.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Penelope graduated from the SFU film program in the eighties, becoming known as an underground filmmaker, living in Paris, then Berlin for ten years, where she made fifteen shorts and toured world wide. Her short Llaw, a diary of the days surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall, received acclaim at the Berlin Film festival and launched her career.

In 1990 she made her first feature Trouble in Berlin for ZDF and returned to Canada to direct Boulevard in 1994, Dangerous Attraction in 1999 and has directed ten movies for television, including the Gemini nominated CBC film, Giant Mine. Her NFB documentary Tokyo Girls won two Geminis and two Leo Awards in 2002. She has directed many TV series in Canada, including Train 48. A A Wake won best feature at The Female Eye Festival, The Carmel Arts and Film festival and the Golden Palm at the Mexico International Film Festival.