Following its world premiere in the groundbreaking Discovery Programme of TIFF, ROSIE has been on a whirlwind festival run, capturing hearts all along the way, and now readies itself for a Canada-wide theatrical run starting November 11.

ROSIE is the feature debut by Métis filmmaker/actor Gail Maurice, and is based on Maurice’s celebrated 2018 short of the same name. A story about family, love, and misfits, ROSIE heralds an important new voice on the Canadian cinematic scene.

ROSIE opens in the summer of 1984 in Montréal, and follows the title character, a young, orphaned, Indigenous girl who is forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart Aunty Frédérique (Mélanie Bray).

Frédérique (Fred) has just lost her job and is on the verge of eviction. An artist who creates art from found and discarded objects or other peoples’ trash, Fred introduces Rosie to her two best friends Flo and Mo, glamorous street workers who refuse to be confined by gender. In the end, it is Rosie who transforms the lives of these colourful characters and finds love, acceptance, and a true home with her new chosen family of glittering outsiders.

The film – both funny and poignant – showcases an original ensemble of emerging talents, headed by six-year-old Keris Hope Hill as Rosie. A Kanien’kehá:ka girl from the Six Nations of the Grand River, Hill was cast after an exhaustive search for a young Indigenous actor who could carry the role. ROSIE marks the young actor’s film debut.

When English-speaking, Indigenous Rosie is thrust upon her French-speaking, Caucasian aunt she feels a sense of alienation and isolation but it doesn’t last long. What connects all of the characters is their ability to uncover beauty and magic, both in their circumstances and surroundings.

“This film is about resilience and the beauty of love and acceptance,” says Director Gail Maurice, whose multiple acting credits include 2021’s award-winning feature Night Raiders, as well as the hit television, shows Trickster and Cardinal.

Maurice continues: “It’s about alienation, identity, and the revelation that we are all capable and worthy of love. It’s a story about fringe dwellers, society’s ‘throwaways,’ struggling to survive against all odds. It’s about finding your chosen family and seeking ‘treasures’ in trash.”

ROSIE is a story of triumph over adversity.

ROSIE is written, directed and produced by Gail Maurice (Assini Productions). Jamie Manning (Night Market) is Producer, Mélanie Bray is Co-Producer, Celiana Cárdenas is the Director of Photography, Joshua Turpin is the Production Designer, Shaun Rykiss is Editor, and Scotty Taylor is Music Supervisor. 

ROSIE stars Mélanie Bray as Fred (Frédérique), Keris Hope Hill as Rosie, Constant Bernard as Flo, Alex Trahan as Mo, Josée Young as Barb, Brandon Oakes as Jigger, Jocelyne Zucco as Germaine, and Arlen Aguayo Stewart as Janine.