World Premiere

DOCUMENTARY | Canada | 90 MINUTES | English

A Cedar Is Life

This film explores the species that stands at the center of West Coast Indigenous culture, the relationship between the people and “The Tree of Life” that continues to this day, and the threats to its continued existence.


Directed by Leslie D. Bland, Harold C. Joe

Harold Joe — Director, First Nations (Cowichan)

As a member of Cowichan Tribes, Harold works as a cultural worker, archeology consultant, filmmaker, and producer. He does this to preserve and teach about the values and traditions of his ancestral Cowichan culture.

He is a graduate of the Capilano Film School.

Harold’s on camera appearances include the Telus/ FNX sitcom series Ollie and Emma and 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus, as well as directing and producing the POV documentary films Wisdom of the River with Cowichan Tribes, and Broken Down, which explores issues of homelessness in the Cowichan Valley.

In 2018, Harold appeared in, co-directed, and was the EP for the documentary Dust ‘n Bones commissioned by Telus, and APTN in Canada, and FNX in the USA on his work as a First Nations archeology consultant and the issues surrounding the preservation and rededication of First Nations remains and artifacts. Dust n’ Bones has been acquired by Filmoption International, and has been sold to NITV Australia, Maori TV, Knowledge Network, Zoomer Media, CHEK TV, TV 5 Monde, and Télé Québec. An educational unit on Dust n’ Bones is being developed for the Cowichan school district.

Harold recently completed the feature documentary Tzouhalem supported by Super Channel, CHEK TV, the CMF, and the Indigenous Screen Office. Tzouhalem had its theatrical release March 2022, selling out numerous venues. It enjoyed its World Premiere at the American Indian Film Festival and its Canadian Premiere at Whistler, and has been, so far, an official selection to seven film festivals in North America including the Red Nation International Film Festival in LA and the Victoria Film Festival. A Cedar Is Life, another feature documentary supported by Super Channel, CHEK TV, the CMF, and the Rogers Doc Fund, currently in production, will be released for film festivals and its theatrical run in the fall of 2022.

The Reclamation of Steve Joe, a comedy heist feature inspired by Harold’s work as First Nations Archeologist will be produced in 2022.

Harold has a number of projects in development as a Producer including the family drama series Orca Cove in development with the CBC, and the documentary Gold In the Valley in development with Knowledge Network.

Harold is passionate about passing on oral traditions and cultural teachings to our younger generations, while equally educating broader society about who First Nations are as a People.

Leslie D. Bland – Director, Person with a Disability (Blind/ Low Vision)

Leslie has produced, written, directed, and performed in over 150 professional projects in film, television, radio, and live theatre.

He has produced and directed the award-winning feature length documentary Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood which featured Howie Mandel, Neve Campbell, David Foster, Alex Trebek, David Shore, Shannon Tweed, and many other Canadian celebrities, for theatrical release and broadcast on Super Channel. Gone South won Best Documentary at the Glendale International Film Festival and was an official selection to 22 film festivals in Canada, the US, and the Cayman Islands including the Newport Beach Film Festival, Victoria Film Festival, and the Edmonton Intenational Film Festival. It was also featured on Air Canada flights, specialty channel Hollywood Suite, Amazon Prime, Discovery Networks, and Westjet. Leslie was the showrunner, produced and directed the Telus sitcom series Ollie and Emma, now being broadcast to millions of homes in the USA by FNX. Leslie also produced/ directed the all-female comedy series She Kills Me for APTN; and the documentary series The Wine Guys: Grape Escapes, which was shot in Italy and Spain, and has been sold throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. In 2018, he completed the documentary Dust n’ Bones as writer/ director/ producer for Telus, APTN, FNX, and theatrical distribution. Télé Québec, Knowledge Network, TV5 Monde, New Zealand’s Maori TV, CHEK TV, Zoomer Media, and Australia’s NITV have acquired Dust n’ Bones.

More recently he directed and produced TV series for AMI-tv and Zoomer Media, and recently completed the CMF supported feature documentary Tzouhalem on legendary Cowichan Chief Tzouhalem for theatrical distribution, Super Channel, and CHEK TV. The feature doc A Cedar Is Life, supported by Super Channel, CHEK TV, the Canada Media Fund, and the Rogers Doc Fund will be released for festival screenings in the fall of 2022. Leslie’s comedy heist feature The Reclamation of Steve Joe, with Graham Greene and Tricia Helfer, will begin photography the summer of 2022.

Leslie has a number of projects in development with a variety of Canadian broadcasters, including the TV series Orca Cove with the CBC, as well as a number of films in development including the Telefilm and CMF supported action dark comedy feature Tattie Bogles.

From 2001 – 2010, Leslie was the Artistic Director of Kaleidoscope Theatre in Victoria. During his time as AD, he led a renaissance of Kaleidoscope’s programming and profile in the community, developing new works, setting attendance records for local in-house productions, winning and being nominated for many awards, and touring its productions nationally and internationally.

For 12 years Leslie was the co-founder and Executive Producer of Edmonton’s Stage Polaris. During his time there, he directed, performed, and produced over 100 productions, premiering many new plays, and oversaw Polaris’ growth from an idea to becoming the second largest theatre company in Edmonton, with annual attendance in excess of 100,000. Leslie’s last year with Stage Polaris, it won more Sterling Awards than any other Edmonton Theatre.

He is a graduate of the University of Alberta B.F.A. Conservatory Acting program, holds both his A.R.C.T. in Speech Arts and Drama with the Royal Conservatory of Music (University of Toronto), and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Victoria. He has taught for the University of Miami, Concordia University in Montreal, and is currently an instructor at the University of Victoria.


Leslie D. Bland, Harold C. Joe


Leslie D. Bland, Harold C. Joe


Leslie D. Bland, Harold C. Joe


Monday, November 14

Screening: 8:15 to 9:45pm

Lumiere Music Hall

9036 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211


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