MY ANIMAL is a supernatural genre-bending love story starring Bobbi Salvör Menuez (“Euphoria”), Amandla Stenberg (Bodies Bodies Bodies), Heidi von Palleske (Rabid), Cory Lipman (The Apprentice), Charlie & Harrison Halpenny, Joe Apollonio (“Betty”), Scott Thompson (“Fubar”), Dean McDermott (“Pretty Hard Cases”) and Stephen McHattie (“Essex County”). The film was written by Jae Matthews and directed by Jacqueline Castel – both marking their feature film debut.
“Tamped down by an oppressive family dynamic orbiting around her alcoholic mother, kept on the sidelines of the hockey team she yearns to join, and imprisoned in her own home each full moon, Heather is in a struggle for her life against the constrictive forces in her small northern town. When an intriguing figure skater enters the rink, Heather’s life, sexuality, and personhood are pried open. Jonny, played by Amandla Stenberg, and Heather, played by Bobbi Salvör Menuez, have bombastic chemistry that plays out on screen with attitude, style, and ferocity. Far from the typical werewolf story, Heather’s condition is one of many reasons for her outcast status. Luckily, Jonny is happy to join her on the outskirts”. – Sundance Film Festival
Director Jacqueline Castel has this to say about the film
“MY ANIMAL is a story about inheritance: of what gets passed through our lineage and how that defines us as individuals. It is also a story about first love and how that can serve as a catalyst for radical change, revealing what we most need and what most needs healing within us.
Like Heather, I understand the quiet despair and isolation of being an outsider in a small town, and of rebelling against it in youth only to discover that the most treasured and distinctive aspects of my selfhood derive from the very things I attempted to reject. What made me different also defined and ultimately transformed me.
In Jae Matthew’s screenwriting, I found the pain and joy of our mirrored adolescent struggles, our complex family relations, and the difficulty of navigating our earliest and most formative relationships. The real battle we each waged in youth, and the one Heather’s character must also face, is finding the courage of self-acceptance and self-expression. Through the struggles of these characters, we encounter what works and what does not in the quest for identity, authenticity, and self-actualization, and the courage we must summon in the face of personal crisis and discrimination. This classical, outsider framework translates beautifully to the mythology of the werewolf.
In MY ANIMAL, I invite the viewer to get lost in the otherness of Heather Anderson. In so doing, I not only compel the audience to feel connected to a character who at first may appear to have little in common with them, but also to learn the same lessons that she does: only by embracing the traits that make us outcasts, and even subject to scorn, do we learn to become fully ourselves”.
Be sure to check this one out in select theatres on September 8 and on digital on September 15, 2023, from Paramount Pictures
The trailer is coming soon!