At First Light (2018)

Sean (Théodore Pellerin) is a good kid. He looks after his grandma (Janet Laine-Green), his younger brother Oscar (Percy Hynes White) and has a crush on his friend Alex (Stefanie Scott). She has a new boyfriend, and Sean feels disconnected after putting his family first due to his grandmother’s illness and irresponsible mother. He wants Alex to be part of his life again but knows he doesn’t have much of a chance. When she nearly drowns and calls Sean to rescue her after she’s found wandering the streets by a mysterious man Cal (Saïd Taghmaoui), their lives are changed forever when UFOs, secret government agencies and young love collide.

At First Light is a lowkey sci-fi with unexpected turns. Alex and Sean are ordinary kids in extraordinary circumstances, and director Jason Stone conveys a universal feel of teenage angst amidst an unknown world of alien conspiracies. You’ll see influences of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and more modern fare like the 2012 teen sci-fi Chronicle. Shot in Ottawa, Nevada and California, At First Light also boasts an eclectic cast. Taghamaoui, who starred in the classic 1995 French crime drama La Haine, joins Canadians Pellerin, Hynes White, Laine-Green, Chicago-born Scott to play realistic, small-town characters forced to think outside their world.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette

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Canadian connection

Written and directed by Jason Stone
Ottawa, Ontario