Crushed by a messy unrequited love, a young queer poet, through the confidence of their best friend and the truth of their art, finally reckons with their own emotional baggage (or, ‘boulder’).

Billy, a moody yet chill twentysomething, opens the film reading yet another poem about “them”—it’s the classic queer canundrum (“Are we friends or are we flirting?”), gone on for so long that Billy is approaching a tipping point. Their roommate and best pal Dylan has been the support and audience for Billy’s poetic lament the whole year long, as this emotional boulder has slowly crushed them. After a vague moment off-screen proves the last straw in the dynamic, Dylan finally gives Billy the push they needed: just tell them how you feel! As Billy continues processing their feelings through writing, the film image interprets their poetics in dreamy montage, bringing to light the abstract complexities of Billy’s emotional register. Once it all comes out, and Billy tells “them” everything, they realize the answer to this grief lies in its release—that there’s strength in vulnerability, laughter in pain, and self-discovery at the heart of self-expression.

Completed through the FILM5 program of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP), with support from Telefilm Canada and the CBC.

Director Mentor: Ashley McKenzie (Queens of the Qing Dynasty, 2022; Werewolf, 2017).

The Year Long Boulder

Saturday October 15 – 7pm   “Dramatic Atlantic Shorts”

Director – Brielle LeBlanc

Brielle LeBlanc (they/she) is an emerging writer, director, and composer born and raised in Mi’kma’ki (Atlantic Canada). LeBlanc’s short, “The Year Long Boulder” is their directorial debut, created through the FILM 5 program at the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative. They have a multi-disciplinary approach to cinema pulling from their background in visual arts, music, and literature, through which they seek to create thought-provoking artwork that grapples with themes of queerness and coming-of-age.

LeBlanc arrives at filmmaking in tandem with community involvement, working at the Atlantic International Film Festival and Women in Film and Television (Atlantic chapter), in addition to working in production in a variety of departments for local Atlantic independent filmmakers. They aim to continue working in Mi’kma’ki, where they can create freely and engage their community.