YXE Filmmaker Tyson Poulin Debuts at RIFFA 2019

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In these uncertain times, films can reflect discord brewing beneath the surface and “things not being what they seem.” This was the intention of the young Saskatoon filmmaker Tyson Poulin with his “passion project” — the short film, The Confessional.

The “no-budget” film recently premiered at the Regina International Film Festival & Awards (RIFFA), which is an impressive feat for a 23-year-old. Featured in RIFFA’s best Canadian short film category, The Confessional explores mixed-up identities and the potential for people to make mistakes. In the main roles, it stars three local actors — Sean Sperling, Liam Cummins and Stacey Tates (Stacey also co-produced the film with Tyson). The plot revolves around a high school football coach, his wife and his former student and it was filmed in Saskatoon during the winter.

Tyson grew up in Saskatoon and Warman; he then graduated from the Recording Arts Institute of Saskatoon's Motion Picture Arts course in 2018. He volunteered at RIFFA in 2017 and 2018. “The Confessional was made purposely for RIFFA and I was so glad it was included as part of the Spotlight on Saskatchewan on the festival’s opening night. It was great that I got to be a part of RIFFA as a filmmaker this year!” says Tyson.

RIFFA supports the Saskatchewan — and Canadian — filmmaking community by nurturing the province’s filmmakers. Tyson notes another source of support for emerging filmmakers is grants from Creative Saskatchewan. A crown corporation since 2013, Creative Saskatchewan encourages investment that boosts creative entrepreneurship in our province.

Tyson also mentions PAVED Arts on trendy 20th Street West in Saskatoon, which offers local artists access to a media production centre, as well as an exhibition space for contemporary visual, media and new media art.

In terms of who he admires in the film and television world, Tyson is a follower of famous hyphenates like writer-director Aaron Sorkin and film director-auteur Christopher Nolan. “I’m also a big fan of Marvel movies and that whole cinematic universe. All the world building that’s been done with those films over the last 10 years is incredible,” adds Tyson.

Canadians that Tyson admires include actor-producer Allan Hawco of the popular CBC television series Republic of Doyle that ran until 2014. One day, Tyson would also like to work with Canadian actor Stephen Amell who plays the role of Oliver Queen/the Green Arrow on the television show Arrow (filmed in Vancouver).

Tyson reflects: “This RIFFA experience was a way to get my feet wet and a great starting route for my film career.”