White Rock residents Sylvie Peltier and Greg Nosaty operate Red Letter Films, a studio in Cloverdale. (submitted photo)

MOVIES

On 4/20, new ‘Demystifying Cannabis’ doc debuted by movie-making couple

Hour-long film made by Cloverdale-based Red Letter Films

Sylvie Peltier and Greg Nosaty chose the appropriate date of April 20 – recognized as “weed day” among pot smokers – to debut the English-language version of their latest documentary.

The hour-long Demystifying Cannabis tackles “the myths and taboos that characterize this complex plant, and the stigma faced by its consumers,” as the promo states on the website of Cloverdale-based Red Letter Films (redletterfilms.com), the hub for the married pair’s movie-making adventures.

Their TV-documentary production company scored Radio-Canada’s commission to make Demystifying Cannabis over the past few years, with interviews filmed in Canada, the Netherlands, Israel, Portugal and the U.S. state of Colorado.

The spark to get the project going was Justin Trudeau’s 2015 campaign promise to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.

“That’s really when work on this started, the pitching,” Peltier recalled. “I went, ‘Wow, this is really big, surprising,’ and I started to put together proposals to do documentaries about that. CBC-French were interested, and we developed the project, which started in 2017, because the idea was to get before-and-after commentary about legalization.”

(Story continues below trailer for the film)

Residents of White Rock since 2007, Peltier and Nosaty first met in 2000 and married in 2011.

When Peltier founded Red Letter Films, she worked primarily as a documentary director. After being bitten by the producer bug, she moved on to more ambitious projects. While directing a project on blind people looking for love, she met Nosaty. Two years later they met again, by chance, at a local Ikea store, and their professional and personal lives merged from that point on.

Red Letter Films’ studio has operated in Cloverdale for three years.

“I have a multi-camera switcher setup, so it’s like a miniature TV studio,” Nosaty explained. “We do some online webinars, and we’ve been doing online courses there as well, in this multi-camera environment, and some of the interviews for our productions are done in there as well, with a green screen. It’s a multi-use space.”

“It’s our sandbox,” Peltier added, without missing a beat.

The production of Demystifying Cannabis took the couple on an “unexpected journey and taught us much more than we expected,” according to a website post that explores the subject of cannabis as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some people snicker at the notion that liquor and cannabis stores have been considered essential services during COVID-19,” the pair say. “This pandemic has upended everybody’s lives and caused tremendous anxiety in people. Alcohol and cannabis use has been on the rise. While drug and alcohol abuse is deplorable, now would be the worst time to curtail people’s access to those substances which have helped them deal with their anxiety.

“Also, it is still important to curtail the black market for cannabis. When legal cannabis stores are closed, like in the province of Ontario currently, the authorities are effectively handing the market back to illegal operations and losing all the tax revenues that such sales generate. Yet, one would think that tax revenues would be in high demand these days.”

Red Letter Films’ Youtube channel is a portal for interviews that didn’t make the final cut for Demystifying Cannabis, including some with Randy Caine, the harm reductionist and former Langley City council candidate who operates Hempyz Gifts & Novelties on Fraser Highway in Langley.

“We’ve gone through many versions of the documentary, going back and forth with the CBC,” Nosaty said. “Originally it was supposed to be two hours, and we have tons of content that didn’t make it into the show, material that really fleshes out addiction and things like. So all these hundreds of hours of interviews, over the next year or two, we’ll cut into short pieces on different subject matter – edibles, addiction, use – and keep feeding that content to our Demystifying Cannabis Youtube channel.”

The channel is where people can view the English-language movie, starting on April 20.

“It’s launched online, but we can’t just put it on the Youtube channel for everybody to see, because we plan to enter it into festivals, so we have to do this more like a private screening,” Peltier explained.

“There’s also an opt-in page, so if people watch the trailer on the Youtube channel, they can click to add their name to our mailing list, because we can’t just add people to the list,” Nosaty added.

CLICK HERE to be added to the mailing list.

The Red Letter Films Facebook page is also where people can find the film.

“We have a distributor for this worldwide, so we are hoping it will be sold to different television networks,” Peltier said, “but right now we’re doing the private launch in this way, so people know it’s exists and they can watch if they want to.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Cannabis Legislation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

What June 1 will look like at Surrey schools

High school students following a ‘tutorial model’ where they sign up through a set schedule of times

South Surrey church to host drive-thru food-donation station

Items dropped off to Mount Olive Lutheran Church to benefit Surrey Urban Mission program

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension faces potential delays due to COVID-19

Pandemic ‘adversely’ impacting TransLink’s finances; ‘much work’ required to approve next investment plan

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

MAY 29: Feds to mull border-closure exceptions for families split between Canada and U.S.

SIMPSON: For real leadership amid crisis, look west of Scott Road

Delta council, under direction of Mayor George Harvie, defines leadership during pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

‘Took about three minutes to kill’: Langley man finds Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ inside bedroom

The extra-large invasive insect had been first discovered in Brookswood on Thursday, May 28

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

Reward for info on trapped raccoon rises to $6,000

Activists have donated to try to find whoever laid a trap in Delta

Man last seen walking out of Royal Columbian Hospital found dead

It is unclear how or why Gavin Deloes was able to leave the New Westminster hospital

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Most Read