Down River Festival Still 1 WEB

Down River

Year 2013
Runtime 93 mins
Language English
Alberta Premiere

What happens when you lose your guide before you’ve found your way? For three young artists, they must learn to face personal fears and obstacles after they unexpectedly lose a mentor.

Inspired by Babz Chula, a friend and frequent co-star of writer-director Ben Ratner, Down River tells the story of Pearl, a free-spirited woman living in Vancouver’s storied "The Manhattan" housing co-op. Pearl (Helen Shaver) acts as a mentor for three women struggling through their lives and careers: an in-demand but insecure actress, a gifted rock singer on the brink of self-destruction, and a dynamic artist hiding behind a paint stained hoodie. As they find their confidence through Pearl, they must then deal with her unexpected death.

Ratner’s homage to Chula comes after her long battle with cancer, and is part celebration of Vancouver’s community of independent artists. As a result, Down River is an emotionally stirring story of mentorship, friendship and letting go.


Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival 2013
Benjamin Ratner
James Brown, Andrew Halliwell, Benjamin Ratner
Benjamin Ratner
Larry Lynn
Robert Wenzek
Production Design
Josh Plaw
Chris Ainscough
Helen Shaver, Gabrielle Miller, Jennifer Spence, Colleen Rennison