Hunting Pignut

15-year-old Bernice hates her life in tiny, isolated Black Gut, Newfoundland. She believes that she will never live down her traumatic childhood that left her body and psyche deeply scarred. Bean, her mother, tries to be a friend but is too busy struggling to get ahead. Self centered, lonely, starved for attention and shunned by her peers, Bernice makes up stories about hanging out with her dad, whom she hasn’t seen in 10 years. Her dejected spirit takes a strange turn when her dad dies of a heroin overdose and Pignut, a charismatic but tormented and violent punk rocker, shows up for his wake. Bernice stumbles upon Pignut’s writing journal and becomes obsessed with discovering more about her father, his mysterious facial tattoo, his best friend Pignut and their clan of nomadic gutter punks. When Pignut steals her father’s ashes, right out of his urn, Bernice embarks on an odyssey to hunt down her father’s ashes and to discover her place in his heart and in the world.

  • Martine Blue
    The Perfect Family, Me2, Desperate Scribbles, Da Bomb
  • Martine Blue
    The Perfect Family, Me2, Desperate Scribbles, Da Bomb
  • Paul Pope
    Grown Up Movie Star, ,Beatdown, Rare Birds
  • Taylor Hickson
    Key Cast
    Deadpool, Go With Me, Blackway
  • Ruth Lawrence
    The Perfect Family, Tour, Before The War
  • Heidi Wagner
    Heavy Weather Series
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 22, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    950,000 CNY
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Atlantic Film Festival
    September 17, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Cinefest Sudbury
    September 24, 2016
  • Charlottetown Film Festival
    October 28, 2016
  • Whistler Film Festival
    December 3, 2016
    Western Canada Premiere
    Stars To Watch Award - Taylor Hickson
  • St. John's Women's International Film Festival
    St. John's
    October 22, 2016
  • Arizona International Film Festival
    United States
    April 29, 2017
    International Premiere
    Best First Feature
  • Female Eye Film Festival
    June 20, 2017
    Opening Night Gala Film
Director Biography - Martine Blue

Multi Award winning director/writer/editor Martine Blue knows Hunting Pignut's world of anarchistic punk rockers because she lived it. She knows the music, politics, personalities, scents, textures, dreams and disappointments of this distinctive subculture from the inside out. Many of the scenes from Hunting Pignut are based on her own life experiences.

She was first introduced to the scene when she was 24 and was immediately drawn to the spontaneity, danger, ideology, adventure, eclectic aesthetic, travel and challenge of fitting in with these intriguing characters. She moved to The Lower East Side of New York City and was soon invited to live in C-Squat, the most notoriously hardcore squat in the world. She lived in her squat room for ten years but also traveled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe during that time. While traveling she stayed in friend’s squats, abandoned boats, rooftops, in caves and many other unique temporary homes. She got around by hopping trains and hitchhiking and ate by dumpster diving food. For money she squeegeed car windshields, panhandled, worked as a dominatrix and busked by tap dancing in the street and in subway stations for money.

The idea of living on the edge of society greatly appealed to her and she discovered a strong sense of art beneath the tattered filth and squalor. Art that she found more expressive, creative and truthful than the expensive art in the high-end Soho art galleries that she and her friends crashed bi-weekly for free wine and snacks. As an only child, and generally an introverted writer and reader, the gutter punk world offered her the sense of belonging and community that she longed for her whole life. Excessive drinking and drugs generated easy and fast friendships and her buddies became the extended family she always dreamed of having. Highlights of this lifestyle include dress up parties, naked races, drunken baseball, foursquare games, sneaking into the neighboring pool, bleaching hair in the fire hydrant and protesting various causes. Martine remembers these years as challenging but also incredibly free, reckless, joyous and extraordinary enough to turn into a compelling film.

Martine returned home from her nomadic squatting lifestyle to enjoy the last two years of her father’s life. He passed away from alcoholism and lung disease in 2004, leaving Martine to feel that their relationship was unfinished. In grief and confusion, Martine searched for both tangible and mystical signs of love from her father. The themes of untimely loss, loneliness and guilt permeate Hunting Pignut as Martine explores the emotional repercussions of discovering a father’s love after his death.

Now over a decade later Martine lives a world away in a tiny seaside community of rural Newfoundland. Her former work as a freelance video journalist for Canada's national broadcaster gave her an insight into the character of that unique and engaging culture.

Martine brings these divergent worlds together in Hunting Pignut, striving to depict both with an authentic voice.

Hunting Pignut, her first feature film, is touring the film festival circuit as is her dramatic fantasy short, The Perfect Family. Martine is currently working on turning The Perfect Family into a dramatic cable TV series for young adults, as well as developing a digital TV series.

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Director Statement

I spent most of my life feeling like an outsider. I began to travel obsessively at an early age, desperately searching for a sense of community and belonging. The theme of achieving a sense of "home" and finding one's place in the world with an adopted family of fellow freaks is taken from my own experience. I hope that the film's main theme that there's a home for everyone, they just have to go through hell sometimes to discover it, resonates on a universal level.