Victoria writer/director Connor Gaston’s The Devout wins big at Leo Awards

26-year-old Connor Gaston’s crisis-of-faith drama The Devout came away with 7 awards of 14 nominations

Award-winning Canadian Writer/Director Connor Gaston’s (short films Godhead, ’Til Death, Bardo Light) first feature film The Devout led the field with 14 nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Screenwriting, taking home 7 Leo Awards.

Award-winning Canadian Writer/Director Connor Gaston’s (short films Godhead, ’Til Death, Bardo Light) first feature film The Devout led the field with 14 nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Screenwriting, taking home 7 Leo Awards from 14 nominations this past weekend, including Best Motion Picture and Best Performance by a Female in a Supporting Role for 5-year-old Olivia Martin.

The story, about a father whose faith is tested when he begins to believe his terminally-ill child was an Apollo astronaut in a previous life, has had successful festival runs at the Vancouver International Film Festival, South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival, the Victoria Film Festival, and more.

The film was well-received everywhere it’s played, earning wins for the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award and the Best Canadian Feature Film Award in Vancouver and Victoria, respectively, and a nomination for Busan’s top international prize. It is now headed to China for the prestigious Shanghai International Film Festival where it will screen on June 11 and 15.

Loosely based on true events, Gaston used a childhood memory as inspiration for the story. “When I was three, my parents half-seriously asked me if I could remember being someone else. According to them, I said yes, claiming my name was Mark and I’d been a carpenter,” muses Gaston.

Top-lined by veteran acting talents Charlie Carrick (Ally Was Screaming, Molly Maxwell) and Ali Liebert (Bomb Girls, Strange Empire), Gabrielle Rose (The Sweet Hereafter, If I Stay), and David Nykl (Tomorrowland, Arrow), the film dared to cast four-year old newcomer Olivia Martin in the pivotal role of the is-she-or-isn’t-she reincarnated child.

“Olivia is a natural. I never thought working with a four-year old could be such a joy,” remarks Gaston. Originally envisioned as a boy, her role was rewritten when producers found Martin by placing an ad at a preschool in Victoria, where the film primarily shot for three and a half weeks this past January. Carrick, Liebert and Martin were all awarded Leos for their performances.

Gaston, a graduate of the University of Victoria Creative Writing Program, knew he wanted to make movies when he realized that screenwriting would not be enough to fulfill him creatively. His advice to other aspiring filmmakers: “Do it yourself. Use your iPhone if you have to. These days there are no excuses.”

The Devout was made possible by the Telefilm Microbudget Program, the BC Arts Council and Cinevic Society of Independent Filmmakers. For a full list of the film’s Leo Awards wins, click here.

Based on true events, The Devout is the story of a humble father in a rural Bible belt town in British Columbia who must face his church, his wife and ultimately himself when he begins to believe that his dying daughter was an astronaut in a previous life.

Watch the Trailer.

More Information here and here.

Just Posted

Victoria mayor hopes ninth attempt to redesign Ship Point will go through

Revised master plan for waterfront site includes plazas, festival piers and more

Rifflandia music festival lineup announced for 2018

Royal Athletic Park and downtown Victoria venues will be jumping Sept. 13 to 16

Discarded household items transform to art for Victoria fundraising auction

ReFind Art for Habitat for Humanity opens May 29 at The Bay Centre

Brand showcases change art landscape in Oak Bay gallery

Explorations: Past, Present and Future is at the Gage Gallery to May 26

VIDEO: Students play free show at Willows Beach as part of concert series

‘Music in the Air, Music Everywhere’ runs May 6 - 16 around Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Let the good times roll in first Laketown Shakedown

With Current Swell and Jon and Roy as headliners, there’s lots to enjoy at this first in a series

Mulroney children to act as bridesmaids-page boys at royal wedding

Ben and Jessica Mulroney’s children will be in Saturday’s royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

St. Luke’s brings whodunnit to the stage

Laura plays at St. Luke’s Hall from May 16 to 27

VIDEO: Let the good times roll in first Laketown Shakedown

With Current Swell and Jon and Roy as headliners, there’s lots to enjoy at this first in a series

Holy haute couture: Divine designs grace carpet at Met Gala

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrated the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition

Winspear Centre the go-to place for arts and culture

Saanich Peninsula centre a hub of entertainment and community activity

Make the most of May on the farm

Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse rekindles centuries-old tradition

Most Read