8:37 Rebirth

Joe LeClair is a scrupulous note writer, as he demonstrates at a local coffee shop. (Goodwin photo)

People involved with a film with local connections hope it can among those included during a film festival in September.

The feature film is called 8:37 Rebirth and has two lead actors essaying Indigenous and Turkish characters.

It’s a product of Dartmouth-based Stone Cold Productions Limited. The story line has two teenagers, one of whom is released from prison for the death of the father of the other one.

“It’s about teenagers from completely opposite sides of the tracks but linked together by a shooting,” publicist Jordan Parker explained. “It explores one shooting that forever links two young people. It’s sort of a crime-drama. It’s really timely in terms of gang violence and race issues.”

Marty Williams, who is formerly from New Glasgow but resides in Halifax, is the film’s producer, along with Hank White.

“I’m excited to have this project come to fruition,” Williams said. “It’s been a long and exciting challenge but we have a good movie that will hold the audience’s interest until the end.”

Joe LeClair, who lives and works in Pictou County, co-wrote the film with White, and Stellarton native Steve Wilsack is its location director. Juanita Peters is the film’s director.

“It was a huge project,” he said. “It’s totally original. It’s a universal story of loss. It went through a lot of revisions.”

COVID-19 forced postponement of production from January 2020 to November, he said. Sets were rented, the cast flew into Halifax from Vancouver and Toronto and production was shut down before it could start.

“We had COVID, which is why we didn’t have much set production,” he said. “It’s a four-year process.”

LeClair is a note taker. Ideas are important to him and he doesn’t dare let one past him.

“I’m constantly writing notes,” he said. “I have to buy shirts with pockets.”

Besides his writing, he’s a postal worker.

“It’s good to have a day job if you’re a writer,” he said.

Williams described how the film’s premise from a true story of three youths who robbed a corner store in Halifax and killed the store owner.

“From that seed of an idea everything else is fiction,” he said. “Our story is Sergei sees Jared kill his father. From that point Sergei wonders if he could have prevented it, and 22 years later Jared is released from prison for the death of Sergei’s father. Deeply regretful, Jared tries to forge ahead into a better life. Sergei, now a professor of mathematics, descends into a guilt-ridden abyss of a revenge-driven obsession. As the psychological drama develops both men must face their demons; where one man might lose his life while the other his sanity.”

Shooting for the colour film took place last year in Halifax, while final production work and editing were completed recently. Its running time is slightly more than 90 minutes.

The festival is an annual event hosted by the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival from Sept. 16 to 23. The list of films to be presented will be announced on Aug. 25.

Viewers can access 837rebirth.com for more information about the film.


Steve Goodwin is never without his camera and a notebook. He has been covering news and sports in Pictou County for more than four decades.