February’s Dog BREAKING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN ALBERTA
PAUL J. CHINOOK IS BREAKING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL HEALTH AND BRINGING AWARENESS FOR ALBERTA OIL FIELD WORKERS AND PEOPLE IN CANADA
What did you like most about playing Dale Walters in February’s Dog?
Dale is an extremely like able character. He’s very charismatic, charming, and easy going. There are layers to his character that the audience get exposed too as the story plays through. At first glance, it appears as though he doesn’t have a care in the world. That he’s just kind of like a big friendly dog eager to make everyone happy like he’s fed off smiles and laughter. We catch glimpses of the depth of thought he is capable of at the rare moment when he lets his guard down.
“Hopefully what we can do is draw attention to mental health issues and draw attention to the resources and get people talking about these issues.” - Chinook
February's Dog takes place in Alberta in modern time and is set against the beautiful and iconic back drop of the Canadian Rocky Mountains under a shroud of winter snow. It follows two uniquely different, yet typical men – Dale Walters (played by Paul J. Chinook) is a very charismatic and lighthearted man that works hard to enjoy a life of adventure and excitement. His work partner, Nigel Loggins, (played by Kevin Davey) is a military veteran who is quiet and calculated in his approach towards life. The film opens with these two men as they are finishing up work on a Friday. They get called into the office at the end of the day and are laid off by their boss Arthur Newbury, (played by Doug Wilson) a very clean cut, to the point, middle aged manager. Arthur is a friend and suggests that this is just temporary, and that they will be back at work in three months – just as soon as market oil prices recover. Dale and Nigel interpret this “break” quite differently and act accordingly. Ultimately though, both men find themselves in a merciless battle against desperation and depression. How will they get out? Or will they? The story is a hard one but one that needs to be told as it is far too common silent battle in today’s society.
The film stars Paul J. Chinook, Quinn Teechma, Kevin Davey, Will Webster, Sarah Wheeldon, Dan McDougall, Doug Wilson, Felipe Paredes and more.
Chinook has been in the Calgary television and film industry as an actor and writer since 2013 and wanted to take that next step.
“It’s really challenging as a Calgary or an Alberta actor to land those auditions, because nine out of 10 the production already has a Vancouver or a LA actor established for that role before you even go in there.” I started writing this story to keep busy and what a topic it was to write about. So many people have gone through this, losing their job in the oil field.”
“It’s got a very strong mental health aspect to it. We watch two of the characters go through some extremely challenging situations and sadly are far too real in Alberta right now with losing work and struggling and bills piling up.”
He has written five screenplay ideas and this is the first one that went into the production.
“It’s kind of all been surreal,” shares Chinook. - Regina Leader Post
Starring and created by Paul J. Chinook as (Dale Walters Writer/Producer), also starring Kevin Davey as Nigel Loggins, Quinn Teechma as Emily Walters, Doug Wilson as Arthur Newbury, William Webster as Jedd Wilson, Sarah Wheeldon as Kate Carter, Jill Maria as the Store Clerk, Sheridan Peirens as Tamara, Dan McDougall as Pastor Frank, Felipe Paredes as Jimmy Walters, Scott Dumas as Fertility Doctor, Stephanie Wilson as Marv’s Diner Waitress and Marianne Hutchings as Nurse Jean.
Production: Jose Luis Gonzalez Cinematographer, Directed by Candace Gonzalez and LnC STYLE as the 1st AD. Paul De Toit Schreve Sound Technician, Camera Operator Derek Wilder and Mardell Chinook Executive Producer. Editor Geordy Day.
INTERVIEW BY HOST QUINN TEECHMA
WATCH THE FACEBOOK INTERVIEW ON FEBRUARY'S DOG SOCIAL MEDIA