Experimental Forest Films is an award-winning production company based on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory in Vancouver, B.C.
Founded by filmmakers Kathleen Hepburn and Tyler Hagan, Experimental Forest Films is committed to socially relevant, nuanced storytelling that celebrates creative risk and cinematic vision. Their films have premiered at TIFF & Berlinale and their most recent project, THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN won the prestigious Toronto Film Critics Association Best Canadian Film Award (2020) and was picked up for distribution by Ava DuVernay's ARRAY Releasing. EFF current projects range in form from documentary to narrative features and, more recently, dramatic television series.
Driven to continue building and uplifting our local community of filmmakers, in 2020 EFF launched Forest for the Trees - an initiative focused on developing programs and grants that connect and support our creative community.
Experimental Forest is a namesake and a reminder.
It represents our connection to the land and a history of the place we call home.
Kathleen Hepburn is a writer/director based on the unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.
Her debut feature, NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL, which Variety Magazine calls a "stoically broken hearted debut," premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and was awarded Best Canadian Film and Best Director by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, as well as Special Jury Prize at the Dublin International Film Festival. It went on to be nominated for eight Canadian Screen Academy Awards including Best Picture. Her sophomore feature, THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN (co-written and co-directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) premiered at Berlinale in 2019, was awarded the Grand Prix at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, an honourable mention for Best Canadian Feature at TIFF '19, and the Toronto Film Critics Association Rogers Best Canadian Feature Prize. The film won 3 Canadian Screen Awards, including Achievement in Directing and Original Screenplay, and is currently streaming on NETFLIX in the US.
Hepburn is currently in development on a youth-focused crime drama series with co-creator Elizabeth Cairns, as well as her next feature project THE NARROW EDGE with Experimental Forest Films. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and a BFA in Film Production from the Universities of Guelph and Simon Fraser respectively.
Tyler Hagan is a Michif and Canadian filmmaker based on unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations in Vancouver, B.C. His producing credits include the feature debut from Kathleen Hepburn NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL (2017), THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN (2019) by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn; and UNTIL BRANCHES BEND (2022) by Sophie Jarvis. In 2022, Tyler was awarded the Kevin Tierney Emerging Producers Award by the Canadian Media Producers Association.
THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN premiered at the Berlinale 2019 and all his films have played at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by four selections by TIFF for Canada’s Top Ten. THE BODY REMEMBERS was picked up for distribution by Ava Duvernay’s ARRAY, who released the film on Netflix and in Theatres in the US. The film received the prestigious Toronto Film Critcs’ Association Best Canadian Film Award, as well as 3 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography; and 3 Vancouver Film Critics’ Circle Awards including Best Canadian Film. NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL was nominated for 8 CSA Awards, again including Best Motion Picture, and won 3 awards from the Vancouver Film Critics’ Circle, including Best Canadian and Best BC Film. UNTIL BRANCHES BEND recently premiered in 2022 at TIFF and took home the Best BC Film from the Vancouver International Film Festival.
His directorial work has shown at Berlinale and includes work with the NFB, CBC, and the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. He received his BFA in Film from Simon Fraser University.
Distribution for Tyler's directorial work is through Vtape